McSherrystown man to have non-jury trial in aunt's murder - abc27 WHTM

Adams County

McSherrystown man to have non-jury trial in aunt's murder

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Jonathan Leonard Jonathan Leonard
Christiana Leonard Christiana Leonard

A McSherrystown man has waived his right to a jury trial in the killing of his 64-year-old aunt and instead will have his case decided by a judge.

Jonathan Edward Leonard, 26, agreed to the bench trial as part of a deal that takes the death penalty off the table, according to Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner.

He faces up to life in prison at his trial, which is scheduled to begin January 28.

Authorities say Leonard on April 10 sexually assaulted and beat Christiana Leonard to death in her McSherrystown home.

According to court documents, surveillance video recorded Jonathan Leonard driving his aunt's 1992 Buick sedan in Hanover shortly after she was found dead.

The court papers also indicate that he had numerous cuts and scratches on his body and blood on his jeans and shoes when police took him into custody.

He is being held without bail on charges including criminal homicide, robbery, theft and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion.

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