No decision made in youthful offender statusPublished 11:00pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012
No decision has been made in the bond reduction or youthful offender status of Deanna McLeod – the woman accused of being an accomplice in a violent home invasion earlier this year.
McLeod was back in court Tuesday for a youthful offender hearing. She smiled and waved at her friends and family as she entered the courtroom, but only spoke to her lawyer.
McLeod and her boyfriend, Parrish Bean, are both suspected accomplices in a violent March 5 home invasion that left a young couple with severe wounds requiring surgery and lead to the death of Thomas White. Police identify White as the intruder who kicked in the front door of the couple’s home and terrorized them with a shotgun.
Both suspects were 20 at the time of the crime and are each charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of attempted murder and one count of murder.
McLeod and Bean are accused of driving White to the neighborhood where the home invasion occurred shortly after 1 a.m. Police reported both suspects knew White was armed with a shotgun, extra ammunition and was going to commit a robbery. Police have also said McLeod and Bean waited to retrieve White at the end of the crime.
McLeod’s aunt, father, brother, uncle and a family pastor spoke on behalf of her good grades and athletic achievement in high school, noting that the talk of drug use and a prior attempted robbery that has come up in court is out of character.
“I was totally surprised,” McLeod’s aunt said. “I just think she was young and caught up in the wrong crowd.”
The family pastor encouraged the judge to consider youthful offender status because he felt McLeod could become a productive citizen and learn from her mistakes. He said he felt McLeod was persuaded into the crime by her boyfriend and his cousin, White.
The victims of the home invasion were also in court and both testified they didn’t believe McLeod should be given youthful offender status.
“They had an option when [White] got out of the car. They could have called the police or gotten help,” the male victim said.
“I feel like she’s old enough to be considered an adult. She made adult decisions,” the female victim said. “Those decisions they made changed our lives forever.”
At deadline Tuesday, no decision had been made in McLeod’s youthful offender status. Bean’s request was previously denied.
McLeod’s trial was originally set to begin Thursday, but has been postponed.
Both suspects have entered not guilty pleas and are being held in the Pike County Jail on $420,000 bonds while they await further court proceedings.