Who is James Leonard? Is he the murderer of four Idaho university students? Explained

James Leonard

Just one mile from the scene of the November slayings of four Idaho students, a convicted murderer was taken into custody on violence charges. Let’s see who is James Leonard and if is he related to the Idaho murder in detail.

Who is James Leonard?

According to Moscow Police, the man, 39-year-old James Leonard, is not thought to be a suspect in the deadly Idaho murder. 

According to a criminal complaint, Leonard was detained on Wednesday after reportedly hitting his wife and daughter, who was minor, and then hurting himself with a knife.

Leonard, who was convicted of a deadly shooting in 2007, is also being legally defended by Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt, who appeared on national television. She revealed on TV that Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle, and Ethan Chapin were most likely sleeping when they were killed inside their off-campus home on 13 November.

The two investigations in the ordinarily secure town of 25,000 people, according to Moscow PD, are unrelated in any way. The local authorities disclosed they are looking for information about a white Hyundai Elantra seen near the students’ home around the time of the deaths.

As a result of the high volume of calls with tips and leads pouring in, the department has now forwarded the tip line to an FBI contact center.

Neighbour’s statement:

Nearly 4 weeks after the Idaho student’s killings, a neighbor, reportedly remembers hearing screams in Idaho. Inan Harsh, a local chef who lives close to the off-campus residence, provided the Idaho Statesman with the most recent report, stating that he arrived home around 1:30 a.m. 

He claimed that at about 4 a.m. on November 13, as he was starting to nod off. And he heard what appeared to be a scream coming from the vicinity of 1122 King Road, according to the Statesman. But, he believed it to be from a party place and not something malicious.

Harsh said, “I didn’t think anything of it. After what happened, I’ve definitely had second thoughts. Maybe it was not a party sound.”

Does Leonard have a connection to the Idaho murder?

Nearly a month after the murders, an ex-convict named Leonard was detained in a case unconnected to the Idaho homicides. He was charged with domestic battery with traumatic injury, aggravated assault, and attempted murder.

The arrest occurs as a result of a probe into the deaths of four students. Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Ethan Chapin, 20, which occurred around 1.3 miles downhill off of the next crossroad.

Strangely, Leonard’s defense lawyer is also the county coroner, who declared that all four college students were killed by stabbing and that their wounds were probably sustained while they slept. According to police, Leonard’s arrest had nothing to do with the adjacent home invasion homicides on November 13.

Cathy Mabbutt, the Latah County Coroner, is a nurse and an attorney. She was elected to office in 2006, just before Leonard’s murder case.

Leonard was known as a convicted killer. Tyler Lee was shot and murdered by Leonard outside of his Genesee home on the morning of June 19, 2007. According to the affidavit, Leonard informed the responding deputy, “I’m the one that shot him.”  After the victim arrived, he claimed it was in self-defense.

Why did the police arrest, James Leonard?

James Leonard, 39, of Moscow, Idaho, is accused of beating his wife and her daughter late on Tuesday night before slashing himself with a knife. 

According to court records, he previously admitted responsibility for a fatal shooting that occurred in 2007, although he hardly received any prison time. 

When police arrived at their Palouse River Drive house, they discovered Leonard’s wife bleeding from the lips and nose. When police forced Leonard to leave his hiding place in a bedroom, they discovered blood on his hands, and face, and a large cut on his forearm.

According to the complaint, an officer frisked him and discovered two knives and a joint of marijuana. His wife informed police that he had had “half a bottle of gin” and was very drunk. After working on his truck outside, he allegedly saw her on the phone and accused her of cheating. 

He is said to have yelled at her in front of her two children. Daughters who are 20 and 15, the 21-year-old boyfriend of her daughter, and a 1-year-old grandchild. The complaint states that after that, he entered his room and began cutting himself. He allegedly punched his wife in the face and grabbed her throat when she went to check on him. 

The older daughter, her boyfriend, and the infant went to a neighbor’s house during the altercation. Police found the 15-year-old daughter hiding under a chair in another room with symptoms of a concussion.

Unsolved Idaho murder case: Nearly 4 weeks:

Idaho murder investigation continues for nearly a month. Four University of Idaho students is said to have died between three and four in the morning in a rented home on King Road, just a short distance from campus on Nov. 13. 

According to investigators, two additional roommates who were on the bottom floor managed to avoid injuries. The belongings of the victims of the Idaho quadruple homicide are removed by the police from the house in Moscow, Idaho.

There were three victims living there. Kernodle’s boyfriend, Chapin, was sleeping over. Chapin was a Sigma Chi fraternity member, and there is a frat house around 200 yards distant. 

According to the University of Idaho, he was majoring in recreation, sport, and tourism management. Around 1:45 a.m., he and Kernodle were thought to have returned to her home after spending the majority of the evening at the Sigma Chi house. Both Kernodle and Mogen majored in marketing and were members of the sorority Pi Beta Phi. 

Goncalves was a member of Alpha Phi and majored in general studies. They had been spotted earlier that evening at a food truck and the Moscow bar The Corner Club.

Police requesting public assistance:

On Wednesday, police said they were looking for the driver or drivers of a white 2011–2013 Hyundai Elantra. This vehicle had been spotted around the victims’ residence at the time of the incident.

“If you know of or own a vehicle matching this description, or know of anyone who may have been driving this vehicle on the days preceding or the day of the murders, please forward that information to the Tip Line,” the department said in a statement.

Police are urging anyone with information to contact them, even if it’s just a small detail. ‘We believe someone has information that will add context to the picture investigators are creating of what occurred that evening,’ Moscow police said in a statement on Monday.

‘Our focus is the investigation, not the activities. Your information, whether you believe it is significant or not, might be one of the puzzle pieces that help solve these murders.’

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 208-883-7180, email tips at [email protected], or submit digital media to the FBI at fbi.gov/moscowidaho. 


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