Leonard enters no plea; appointed an attorney - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Leonard enters no plea; appointed an attorney

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Leonard in court Thursday morning. Leonard in court Thursday morning.
SOURCE: Lee County Sheriff SOURCE: Lee County Sheriff
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Desmonte Leonard, the man accused of shooting 6 people, killing 3 of them, at an Auburn apartment complex last weekend, had his first appearance in court Thursday morning.

Charges of capital murder and assault were read to Leonard in the Lee County courtroom   He said he understood the charges against him, but did not enter a plea. Leonard has 30 days to do so.

The court appointed Attorney Susan James to defend Leonard. James is working on a case in Phenix City and will hold a news conference at the Russell County Courthouse today at 1 PM.

James is well known for her high-profile case load. She represented Jay Walker in the federal gambling corruption trial recently as well as former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman during his corruption trial.

Auburn officials apparently picked up Leonard from the Montgomery County Detention Facility early this morning to take him to the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika where he was arraigned. 

The arraignment was scheduled for 8:15 a.m. this morning instead of Wednesday morning, due to a scheduling conflict with the Lee County district attorney. 

Since Leonard's surrender to U.S. marshals Tuesday night at the Federal Courthouse in Montgomery, Auburn Police chief Tommy Dawson said that Leonard has been cooperating with authorities. 

"He was very cooperative when he turned himself in," said Dawson. "Very cooperative and he actually offered an apology for what he did. He told investigators he was sorry."

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