☛ TS Leahy pleads guilty to murder
Just short of her 17th anniversary behind bars, a tearful Jennifer Gale Leahy pleaded guilty to second degree murder in a Humboldt County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
The plea was part of a deal that reduced Leahy's charge from first- to second-degree murder. Now, if a sentencing judge agrees with the disposition in early November, Leahy will be set free, with a life-long probation sentence.
Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said new information has emerged since Leahy's first trial took place in 1992, that better defined her role in the murder conspiracy of Mary Kesser, a 30-year-old Fortuna woman who was killed in 1991. That information revealed Leahy helped her then-boyfriend Richard Kesser find a hit man to kill his wife, but her involvement appears to have tapered off after that, Gallegos said.
”She's still as culpable,” Gallegos said. “She was the linchpin that put the two people together.”
If the sentencing judge agrees to release Leahy, she will not be allowed to live in Humboldt County, where Mary Kesser's family continues to reside....
Rachel Donahue, who became friends with Leahy in jail, attended Tuesday's hearing. She said she was excited about news of the plea agreement.
”She deserves to get out of there; it's been a long time,” Donahue said. “She had only been with the guy (Richard Kesser) for four months, so this is like nothing but bad memories for her.”
Leahy will return to court Nov. 2 for sentencing....
I expect Gallegos will call this a win - now what happens with his convoluted Lie-detector deal with Kesser?
Richard Kesser has entered a guilty plea as part of an agreement to reduce his sentence from first- to second-degree murder, but that plea is pending the results of a (SECOND) polygraph test. (He FAILED THE FIRST ONE, REMEMBER?)