Court upholds case of man convicted in Auburn slayings

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a man serving life without parole in the shooting deaths of two one-time Auburn University football players and a third man.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the case against Desmonte Leonard on Friday.

The judges rejected defense claims including Leonard’s argument that a Lee County judge erred when he refused to let jurors consider a lesser charge.

Leonard was convicted in 2014 of fatally shooting three people during a party at an apartment complex in Auburn in June 2012.

The victims included former Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips. DeMario Pitts also died, and three others were wounded.

Corrections show Leonard is serving time at St. Clair prison.

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