A retrial for a Jefferson Twp. man convicted of killing two men in 2010 began Tuesday with the prosecution and the defense delivering their opening statements.
Gregory Leet, 29, was found guilty in May 2011 of murder in the deaths of Nathan E. Gay, 49, and Harvey Sims Jr., 53, in February 2010, but won a new trial from the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals. The court said statements used against Leet at trial were from before he was granted his request for an attorney and without a full understanding of his Miranda rights.
According to the appellate decision written by Judge Mary E. Donovan and joined by Judge Thomas J. Grady, the questioning of Leet should have ended immediately when he asked for a lawyer. Their decision also states that the record shows his original Miranda waiver not made in a sound and voluntary manner, as the law requires.
Much like they did during Leet's first trial, prosecutors described the slayings as racially charged crimes. According to the prosecution on Tuesday, Leet was angered when he said a black man stole the money he had handed over to pay for drugs. From there, the prosecution said, an offer by Gay and Sims to help him recover the lost money was met by violence.
One of the first prosecution witnesses Tuesday was the first detective on the scene.
Leet's attorneys said anyone could have killed Gay and Sims and there is no proof Leet was their killer. Leet has previously been accused by witnesses who said he shot the victims. Both witnesses, Tylor Blevins and Blevins' cousin Kenneth Bailey, are expected to be prosecution witnesses.
Leet remains in jail on $2 million bail. Trial is expected to last several days.
-- By Mickey Shuey, who is a senior at the University of Dayton.
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