Trial date set for Auburn mass shooting suspect Desmonte Leonard - Tucson News Now

Trial pushed back for Auburn mass shooting suspect

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Desmonte Leonard enters the courtroom Friday. Desmonte Leonard enters the courtroom Friday.
Desmonte Leonard Desmonte Leonard

The alleged triggerman in a 2012 Auburn mass shooting that left three people dead and three others injured returned to a Lee County courtroom Friday for what was scheduled to be the final hearing before his April trial date.

Desmonte Leonard and the family of the victims will now have to wait a few more months for the trial, which was pushed back to June 9. That's just 10 days shy of the second anniversary of the mass shooting he's being tried for.

Prosecutors said they needed more time than the April trial date allowed for the death penalty case.

The defense maintains its desire to change the venue. It was decided Friday that the jury pool will get the generic juror questionaire. This will help determine if at least 12 people could be fair and impartial and set the stage for a possible venue change.

The prosecution says it will likely take three weeks to try Leonard. There are more than 100 witnesses listed in the case.

To date, the prosecution hasn't extended a plea deal to Leonard. The defense says Leonard has no desire to plead.

The judge set two more pretrial hearing dates in May.

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