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Attorney In Auburn Shootings Wants Change Of Venue

Community came out for candlelight vigil at Auburn.

An attorney for a Desmonte Leonard, the Montgomery man accused of killing three people in a shooting at a party near Auburn University, said she will ask that his trial be held outside of Lee County, where the school is located.

Hundreds of those hit hard by the shootings that killed two former football players gathered on a campus lawn later in the day for a candlelight vigil for the victims. The first candle was lit by Auburn player Eric Mack, who was wounded in the shooting. He was joined by many of his teammates.

Earlier Thursday, attorney Susan James said she was worried it would be difficult for Leonard, 22, to receive a fair trial in Lee County because the slain included the two former players and a current player also was injured.

“We need to get the trial out of Lee County. There’s so much interest in that there,” James said.

James was one of three attorneys appointed to represent Leonard when he said he couldn’t pay for his defense. Leonard faces three counts of capital murder and two assault charges in the shootings that apparently occurred after a fight over a woman.

He is being held without bond.

James helped Leonard turn himself in Tuesday after an intense three-day manhunt. She said she picked him up at an undisclosed location about 50 miles from Montgomery. She said she and Leonard talked on the way back to Montgomery, but she could not disclose much of what they talked about because of attorney-client privilege.

“He told us his side of the story,” she said. “He said, ‘People that know me know how I am.’ “

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