Unforgiving relatives of his victims gave a Baton Rouge man a bitter send-off Friday before a judge sentenced him to life in prison in the 2010 shooting deaths of a woman and the brother-in-law of former Police Chief Jeff LeDuff.
“I have no compassion, I have no forgiveness in me for this defendant,” LeDuff, seated next to state District Judge Tony Marabella, said as he glared across the courtroom at 24-year-old Leandre Bell.
An East Baton Rouge Parish jury convicted Bell in June on two counts of second-degree murder and other charges in the slaying of Ericca Turner, 44, on July 27, 2010, and the killing of Christopher Jason Domingue, 45, on Sept. 4, 2010.
“Your forgiveness will never be accepted. Don’t even ask,” Domingue’s father, Marius Domingue Sr., said at Friday’s sentencing hearing.
Prosecutor Melissa Morvant read a letter from Turner’s sister Jennifer Howard: “We are grateful today that you (Bell) have been stopped.” Howard said her sister “would help anyone that she met.”
After Morvant stopped reading, Howard spoke up from the audience and said to Bell, “I watched him smirk. I pray that every day at Angola you’ll get your smirk, too, because you won’t have your gun.”
Turner’s mother, Dorothy Turner, sat next to Howard in a wheelchair.
Turner was shot to death on Yorktown Drive in the College Drive area. Domingue was fatally shot on West Roosevelt Street between Nicholson Drive and River Road.
Prosecutor Adam Haney argued at Bell’s trial that Bell killed Domingue for a cellphone, lighter and half a pack of cigarettes. The purse Turner had minutes before she was killed was never found, he said.
“Saturdays in my house have not been the same since Sept. 4 (2010),” LeDuff said Friday during his victim impact statement.
LeDuff was police chief at the time when he received a call on that Saturday morning that his brother-in-law had been murdered.
LeDuff said Domingue could fix anything.
LeDuff read a letter from his mother-in-law, Christine Domingue, in which she stated, “Part of me died with him.”
“The hardest thing is I didn’t get to say goodbye,” she said.
Christopher Domingue’s sister Dana Albert said her brother was kind, gentle and innocent and had a “half-crooked grin.” She said Bell robbed her brother of a “peaceful death.”
“You gave our family our life sentence on Sept. 4,” Albert said to Bell.
Marabella called Bell a “coward” who took the lives of “two precious people who weren’t bothering anybody.”
At his trial, Bell took the stand in his own defense and pointed the finger at his cousin, Farrenton Joshua, who pleaded guilty in March as an accessory to second-degree murder and armed robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Bell testified he saw Joshua, 23, shoot Domingue. Bell said he was not present when Turner was killed.
He also said Joshua told him he killed Turner.
Bell’s DNA was found inside Domingue’s pockets, which were turned out when his body was found.
Joshua testified at trial he saw Bell shoot Turner and that he heard the shots that killed Domingue but did not actually see his cousin pull the trigger.
Bell confessed to detectives that he killed Turner and Domingue.
The jury saw the videotaped confessions.
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