Wednesday, May 23, 2001

First, fidelity pledge; then death

Suspect's brother testifies at trial

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Dawn Flick and Patrick Leonard promised each other July 28 that they'd be honest about their feelings and faithful to one another.

        Hours later, Ms. Flick lay dead in her Crosby Township house while her boyfriend, Patrick Leonard, explained to his brother why he had just shot his girlfriend three times in the head, according to testimony Tuesday in Patrick Leonard's murder trial.

        Testifying before a Hamilton County jury, Ted Leonard said he talked with his younger brother, Patrick, in the early hours of July 29.

        “He told me he killed Dawn,” Ted Leonard said. “He said he wanted to see his kids one more time and that I would never see him again (because he intended to kill himself). I told him he should turn himself in.”

        Patrick Leonard did turn himself in to police in Highland Heights and confessed in an interview with Hamilton County sheriff's investigators later that same day, authorities say.

        He is charged with two aggravated murder counts — one with death-penalty aspects — plus two attempted murder counts, one rape and one kidnapping count.

        Closing arguments begin today.

        Defense attorneys contend that the 31-year-old New Baltimore man lost control and shot his girlfriend to death in the heat of the moment because he suspected she was unfaithful.

        They deny that their client raped Ms. Flick and contend there is no evidence proving that the couple had sex before Ms. Flick's death. If they can prove there was no rape, Mr. Leonard could be spared the death penalty.

        Investigators testified Ms. Flick's body was naked below the waist, her underwear was pushed down to her thighs.

        Mr. Leonard, according to an audio tape of his interview with police, said he and Ms. Flick began to engage in consensual sex but were interrupted by Ryan Gries, the man he believed Ms. Flick was involved with, and another man.

        He told police he shot Ms. Flick and then shot through her front door to scare away the two men. Mr. Gries was shot in the back but recovered.

        Twenty-four hours after his daughter's death, Les Flick, owner of the Home Like Inn in Crosby Township, killed himself. Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Schweikert has prohibited the prosecution from telling jurors about Mr. Flick's suicide.


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