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Suspect still at large in Auburn, Ala. slayings

Police Chief Tommy Dawson identified Desmonte Leonard as primary suspect

AUBURN, Ala. | June 11, 2012

The primary suspect in a triple slaying in Auburn, Ala., remained at large Monday despite the city police chief's plea for the public's help in finding him.

Speaking at a news conference Sunday, Auburn police Chief Tommy Dawson identified Desmonte Leonard, 22, of Montgomery as the primary suspect, and while a manhunt was in progress, asked for cooperation from the public in locating Leonard and two other suspects, The Birmingham News reported Monday.

Auburn police have sworn out three capital murder warrants against Leonard, who is accused of killing three people, including former Auburn University football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips, and injuring three others during a weekend party in an apartment complex near the university. The two other unidentified suspects are considered "persons of interest," the police said.

The newspaper said court records indicate Leonard was arrested twice before on gun charges, including a 2009 shooting of a 16-year-old who later said Leonard was not his assailant and a 2008 gun possession case. He also has been involved in two child support civil cases, one involving a girl now 4 years old and another filed Friday, records indicate.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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