Thursday, May 24, 2001

Leonard's fate rests with jury

Deliberations continue in death penalty trial

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jurors will continue deliberations today in the death penalty trial of Patrick Leonard, a 31-year-old New Baltimore man accused of killing his girlfriend and shooting a man who came to her rescue.

        Dressed in khaki pants and a light blue button-down shirt, Mr. Leonard sat quietly at the defense table Wednesday as prosecutors, in their closing statements, retold the events of the early hours of July 29 for jurors.

        ""Dawn Flick did not go easily,” said Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Seth Tieger. “She fought like a warrior.”

        Prosecutors contend Mr. Leonard is a controlling, manipulative man who tried to keep his girlfriend from ending their relationship, despite his having fathered two children with another woman.

        They say Mr. Leonard, who lived across the street from Ms. Flick, followed the 23-year-old woman and ran her car off the road twice the morning of July 29. He eventually forced her into her home.

        There, prosecutors say Mr. Leonard pointed a .357 Magnum at Ms. Flick as she phoned a friend, Ryan Gries. They contend he then raped her, choked her and intentionally shot her three times in the head because he suspected she was involved with someone else.

        When Mr. Gries and another man arrived at the house, Mr. Leonard shot once through the front door. The bullet struck Mr. Gries and lodged in his back.

Leonard's confession
        In a taped confession to police, Mr. Leonard admitted killing Ms. Flick and said: “If I had been thinking I wouldn't have done it.”

        “He is guilty of murder. He is guilty of felonious assault because he attempted to cause serious physical harm to Ryan Gries. But he is not guilty of aggravated murder. He did not intend to kill her,” said William Welsh, one of Mr. Leonard's attorneys.

        If convicted, Mr. Leonard could be sentenced to death.


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