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Jury Finds Quadruple Murderer Was Sane

Lee Leeds of Santa Maria faces 100 years in prison for 2008 shooting rampage

A Santa Maria man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury found he was sane when he killed four people at a Santa Maria auto yard in 2008.

Lee Leeds is expected to receive four consecutive life sentences — for a total of 100 years — when he returns to court July 19 for sentencing, according to Kevin Duffy, senior deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County.

Leeds, 35, previously pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of his father, Robert Leeds, who owned Black Road Auto, Dave Duboise, Ricardo Leal and Terry Majan during a shooting rampage on March 18, 2008.

The case then entered a sanity phase, and a jury in Superior Court in Santa Maria decided late Wednesday — after a six-week trial and 3½ days of deliberations — that Leeds was sane at the time of the killings.

Had he been found insane, he most likely would have been sent to a mental hospital instead of prison.

“We’re very pleased with the result,” Duffy said. “We’re very happy for the victims, and the victims’ families, that they get some sense of closure and justice.”

Defense attorneys argued that Leeds didn’t know right from wrong, and believed he was going to be killed by the Mexican Mafia, Duffy said.

But Duffy said there was ample evidence that Leeds knew what he was doing when he killed the four men.

Members of the victims’ families will be allowed to make “victim impact” statements at the July hearing before Judge Edward Bullard.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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