Court orders Lee Co. Sheriff to return Desmonte Leonard to Montgomery Co. Jail
Leonard at hearing Thursday afternoon. Photo Courtesy Opelika-Auburn News
OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) -
A Lee County Circuit Court judge is ordering Lee County Sheriff and Auburn Police Department to return accused murder suspect Desmonte Leonard to the Montgomery County Jail.
Leonard's attorneys filed a motion asking the judge to compel Sheriff Jay Jones to return their client to the facility some 50 miles from Lee County. Leonard has been housed in the Montgomery County Jail due to alleged security reasons.
Leonard attorney Jeff Duffey says his client's safety would be at risk should he be moved to the Lee County Jail.
Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson previously told WSFA 12 News that special concessions were made with regards to Leonard's housing and transport in order to keep him safe from the general population.
A status hearing for Leonard was held at the Lee County Justice Center at 1:30 Thursday afternoon, but afterward Sheriff Jones refused to return Leonard to Montgomery County.
WSFA 12 News reporter Jennifer Oravet reached out to Sheriff Jones to ask why Leonard was being kept in Lee County. Jones would only say "no comment."
Leonard's attorney wrote in his motion that the order to transport Leonard to Auburn for the hearing also included an order for his return to the Montgomery County Jail upon the conclusion of the hearing.
The judge's order states, "The Sheriff and Auburn Police Division will coordinate transportation efforts and comply with the Transport Order in a reasonable time."
Leonard was returned to the Montgomery County Jail midday Friday.