Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 12
Jury finds Leeds legally sane
BY AMY ASMAN
On May 23, a Santa Barbara County Superior Court jury determined Lee Leeds was legally sane when he shot and killed four people at a Santa Maria salvage yard in 2008.
Leeds, now 35, opened fire at Black Road Auto in Santa Maria on March 18, 2008, killing his father Richard Leeds, who owned the business, Dave Dubois, Terry Majan, and Ricardo Leal.
Leeds changed his plea in regard to the murder charges several times, but ultimately admitted to committing the crimes.
At one point, defense attorneys argued Leeds suffered from hallucinations and believed members of the Mexican mafia were trying to kill him. He was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and spent time at Patton State Hospital receiving psychiatric care.
However, the jury found Leeds knew what he was doing was wrong and even planned the shootings ahead of time.
“I think the best way to say it is that although mentally ill, [Leeds] committed these acts in a way of vigilant justice,” Deputy District Attorney Brooke Gerard said. “He had other reasons for killing these people.”
Leeds will return to court for sentencing on July 19. He faces life in prison.
Arroyo Grande hates on charter-bashing bill Flash in the barrel? - Central Coast craft brewing continues its roll, but the growing number of startups raises sustainability questions Some whistled along as classic rock piped through the radio. Towers of power - PG&E crews employ daredevil tactics in an Atascadero-SLO power line upgrade Cougars and Mustangs You've got male! And female! And ... - Students and staff hope to make Cal Poly a hub for gender discussions Lawsuit forces Nipomo CSD's financial hand