Man accused of killing two, including wife, now charged with murder
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POCATELLO — A Pocatello man originally charged with manslaughter for allegedly killing his estranged wife and her boyfriend is now charged with murder.
Court documents show charges of voluntary manslaughter against Jesse Patrick Leigh, 41, have been replaced with two counts of first degree murder. A deadly weapon enhancement attached to the manslaughter charges has also been dismissed.
Leigh is also charged with a felony for discharging a firearm into an occupied building.
Pocatello dispatch received a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 reporting that several shots had been fired in a neighborhood, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The caller reported that a woman had been killed.
Officers arrived shortly thereafter and were informed by a resident of the neighborhood that Leigh had fired six shots and fled the scene on foot. Officers forced entry into Leigh’s home and found the bodies of Leigh’s wife, 41-year-old Jennifer Leigh, and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Timothy Hunt.
Police reports show that blood had pooled around Jennifer and Hunt’s bodies. Several 9mm casings were found in the home. Jennifer was shot in the head while Hunt was hit multiple times, in the left arm and the left side of his back, according to court documents.
No one else was found in the home at the time of the officers’ arrival.
Police reports show that while Jesse and Jennifer Leigh were still married, they were “recently estranged” and Jennifer had moved in with Hunt.
In speaking with a neighbor, officers were told the Leigh’s son was present at the time of the alleged shooting. The witness told officers that Leigh asked a neighbor to take his son, repeated “I’ve done something bad” several times, then fled on foot.
Officers from the Pocatello and Chubbuck police departments, as well as the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, began searching the area and located Leigh at his mother’s home. He was taken into custody for questioning.
When he was found by officers, he was in possession of a black 9mm semiautomatic handgun, the affidavit says. The weapon was partially loaded, with one round chambered and seven more in a magazine that holds 18 rounds. The weapon was cocked, with the safety set to fire. Officers also noted blood on Hunt’s clothing.
He allegedly asked the officers “Are they dead?” before requesting an attorney.
Officers who remained at the scene of the crime spoke with the Leigh’s juvenile child, who told them that he, Jennifer, Hunt and another friend arrived at the home to drop him off with Leigh. The boy said that after he and his mother were unable to open the front door to the home, Hunt’s assistance was requested.
Upon opening the door, the boy said, the three entered the home to find Leigh asleep on the floor.
The boy and Hunt remained near the front door while Jennifer sat on the couch next to Leigh. He said that Jennifer kicked Leigh, who woke up and asked what she was doing.
After a brief exchange, the boy remembered Hunt telling him to run. He ran outside to the car and told the fourth member of their party to run. The man ran and flagged down a nearby patrolling officer.
That was when Leigh allegedly fired six shots.
While speaking with the boy, the neighbor took notes and provided them to officers. According to the neighbor, the boy said, “He was really drunk, maybe that’s why he shot.”
Home security video from another nearby home showed three people standing in front of Leigh’s home. Then, a short time later, Leigh was seen fleeing the area on foot, heading west. Officers noted he appeared to be wearing the same jacket he was found wearing shortly thereafter.
Officers also spoke with Leigh’s mother, who said she and her husband were asleep when they heard a loud noise in the back of their home. They investigated the noise and found Leigh had forced his way into the home.
She told officers Leigh’s account of the incident. He allegedly told his mother that Jennifer and Hunt had broken into his home with guns. Leigh said, according to her statement, “I shot them, mom. I shot them. I couldn’t take it anymore. They barged in the house. I love you mom, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. They were making fun of me.”
She told officers she believed Leigh left the area on foot after that exchange. His clothes were collected for evidence and he was transported to the Bannock County Jail.
If he is found guilty, Leigh faces two life sentences, as well as $150,000 in fines. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on March 11.