October 28th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Accused 'ninja' killer: 'I've already been ... convicted by the media'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/10/28/florida.couple.slain.case/story.gonzalez.jr.ecso.jpg caption="Leonard Gonzalez Jr. faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of a Florida couple." width=300 height=169]

CNN Wire Staff

Pensacola, Florida (CNN) - A jury weighed the fate Thursday night of a man accused of leading a band of men dressed as ninjas into a Florida home then killing a couple execution-style, even as the defendant declared his outcome in another arena.

"I've already been tried and convicted by the media," Leonard Gonzalez Jr. said as he was escorted out of an Escambia County courtroom early Thursday evening, after the jury of 11 women and one man got answers to two questions they'd asked during their deliberations.

Judge Nickolas Geeker also assented to the jury's request for a magnifying glass, and turned down their request for transcripts of the three-day trial's testimony.

When the case went to the jury, hours earlier, Gonzalez winked at his wife Tabitha and nodded twice to the family of the late Byrd and Melanie Billings. Prosecutors argued during the first-degree murder trial that Gonzalez shot Byrd once in each leg, then led he and his wife into their master bedroom where he killed them while unloading seven more bullets.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. carolo

    You did it buddy. You had a choice and you took the wrong road. Live with it and stop whining now.

    October 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  2. Barbara

    How can Mr. Gonzalez argue with common sense?

    October 28, 2010 at 10:46 pm |

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