Lynchburg convicted killer taken off death row - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Lynchburg Man Taken Off Death Row

Lynchburg convicted killer taken off death row

Posted: Updated:
Leon Winston's mugshot, Dec. 2010 Leon Winston's mugshot, Dec. 2010
LYNCHBURG, VA -

6:20 p.m.

By Scott Leamon

Lynchburg commonwealth's attorney Mike Doucette, one of the prosecutors who tried the case back in 2003, said it was Rhonda Robinson's daughters who factored into his decision to allow Winston to serve life in prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court offered Doucette the option in its ruling of redoing the penalty phase of Leon Winston's trial, meaning the court was okay with allowing the convictions to stand, but not the penalty portion of the trial.

If Doucette decided he wanted to pursue the death penalty once again, he would have had to call witnesses, present evidence, and ask a judge to keep Winston on death row.

Winston would have also, of course, been allowed a vigorous defense.

Doucette said Rhonda Robinson's daughters, now well into their teens, told him they were okay with Winston serving life in prison.

He said that effectively sealed his decision to take the possibility of the death penalty off the table for Winston.

Winston will still have to appear in Lynchburg Circuit Court sometime in the future to allow for the formal sentencing of three life terms.

Doucette said he did not yet know when that court appearance will be.

12:16 p.m.

From Scott Leamon, WSLS reporter in the field

A United States Supreme Court ruling has effectively taken a Lynchburg man off death row.

Leon Winston was convicted of three counts of capital murder back in 2003.

Winston gunned down Anthony and Rhonda Robinson inside their Lynchburg home in 2002.

Rhonda Robinson was pregnant at the time.

Her daughters, ages 8 and 4 at the time, watched their mother die.

The Supreme Court ruled Winston's attorneys should have included a mental retardation defense during the penalty phase of his trial.

Winston will be resentenced to three life terms later this year.

  • Virginia Cares gives employers incentive to hire ex-offenders

    Virginia Cares gives employers incentive to hire ex-offenders

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-08-20 11:56:46 GMT
    Virginia Cares is seeing success with a program that places ex-offenders into new jobs. Looking Forward gives employers a key incentive to hire ex-offenders.
    Virginia Cares is seeing success with a program that places ex-offenders into new jobs. Looking Forward gives employers a key incentive to hire ex-offenders.
  • Bedford Ride thrives despite lack of state, federal money

    Bedford Ride thrives despite lack of state, federal money

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:20 AM EDT2014-08-20 11:20:43 GMT
    Four years ago, Bedford Ride lost its federal funding, which accounted for 50 percent of the operating budget. Then the state funding dried up as well.But since then, the program has found new resources through grants, donations and a greater commitment from Bedford County and the Town of Bedford.
    Four years ago, Bedford Ride lost its federal funding, which accounted for 50 percent of the operating budget. Then the state funding dried up as well.But since then, the program has found new resources through grants, donations and a greater commitment from Bedford County and the Town of Bedford.
  • New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    New online tool helps you keep up with vehicle recalls

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-08-20 10:23:48 GMT
    (WSLS) -- If you've ever wondered whether your car -- or one you're looking to buy -- is on a recall list, the U.S. Department of Transportation is unveiling a brand new search tool to find out.
    (WSLS) -- If you've ever wondered whether your car -- or one you're looking to buy -- is on a recall list, the U.S. Department of Transportation is unveiling a brand new search tool to find out.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.