Judge delays sentencing in Auburn triple killing

This undated photo provided by the Auburn Police Division shows Desmonte Leonard, 22, of Montgomery, Ala., the suspect wanted for fatally shooting three people, including two former Auburn University football players, and wounding another three people during a party at an apartment complex near the school, Sunday, June 10, 2012, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson said that current football player Eric Mack was among those wounded and was being treated at a hospital. The two slain former players were identified as Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips. The other person killed was identified as Demario Pitts. (AP Photo/Auburn Police Division)

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – A Lee County judge is again delaying the sentencing of a Montgomery man convicted of killing two one-time Auburn University football players and a third man.

Judge Jacob Walker issued an order Friday saying Desmonte Leonard will now be sentenced on Jan. 20. Defense attorneys cited a scheduling conflict in asking for a postponement.

Leonard’s sentencing had been set for Jan. 7, and the judge previously delaying a sentencing date that was set in November.

Jurors convicted Leonard of capital murder in the shooting deaths of former Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips along with DeMario Pitts. The three were slain during a party at an apartment complex near campus.

The jury recommended life without parole for Leonard, but the judge could still sentence him to death.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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