Friday, May 25, 2001

Man guilty in woman's murder


Jury to reconvene to decide penalty

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 31-year-old carpenter from New Baltimore could receive the death penalty after a jury in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court convicted him Thursday of killing his girlfriend and shooting her friend.

        Jurors, who began their deliberations Wednesday, will now have to consider whether to recommend a death sentence for Patrick Leonard. They will begin hearing testimony for the sentencing phase on Tuesday. A judge makes the final decision.

        Mr. Leonard was found guilty of two counts of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping. Jurors also found him guilty of lesser charges of felonious assault and attempted rape.

        “Justice was served. The jury did the right thing and the prosecutors did a great job,” said Ed Gries Sr., father of Ryan Gries, 25.

        The younger Gries was shot by Mr. Leonard early July 29. He and another man had gone to the home of Dawn Flick, 23, after receiving a phone call from Ms. Flick indicating she needed help.

        When the two men pulled up and knocked on the door, Mr. Leonard shot once through the front door. The bullet struck Mr. Gries and lodged in his back.

        Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutors Seth Tieger and Jerome Kunkel told jurors that Mr. Leonard, who has two children with another woman, feared Ms. Flick wanted to end their relationship.

        Prosecutors said Mr. Leonard handcuffed Ms. Flick inside her house, choked her and started to rape her.

        When he heard Mr. Gries knocking, Mr. Leonard fired three shots into Ms. Flick's head, killing her, then fired a fourth shot through the front door.

       



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