TBI: “It was a terrible, horrible thing to be alive”
A jury in the trial of former police officer and former TBI officer, Richard “Randy” Leland, is deliberating the death penalty for his alleged murder of a 23-year-old woman in South Carolina in 2016.
Leland, a white police officer who worked as a probation officer, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Jessica Leland in March of that year.
He was charged with her murder in April of that same year and was later sentenced to life in prison.
The jury is deliberation on whether to sentence Leland to death for the murder of Leland and whether to put the death sentence on hold pending a retrial, according to CBS News.
Ledden, who was fired from the police force in March, was initially charged with murder in Leland’s death, but a plea deal led to his being found not guilty.
In April, Ledden’s lawyers submitted a new, lesser charge of first-degree intentional murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in federal prison, CBS News reported.
The judge on Wednesday denied Ledde’s request to retry him, citing his ongoing mental health issues and inability to communicate, according a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
In the original trial, the jury was told Leland shot Leland after he approached her at a Charleston grocery store in October 2016 and demanded money for an unspecified business venture.
Leland said he had a gun and a shotgun in his car.
In a separate case, in October 2017, a jury found Leland guilty of aggravated assault and battery after a trial in which prosecutors presented evidence that Leland had punched a witness and threatened to kill a bystander.