A Jamaican-born man who authorities say killed the mother of his children in South Burlington, Vermont in the United States nearly five years ago, then fled to Jamaica, accepted a plea deal in the US on Friday.
Leroy Headley, 41, is charged with second-degree murder in relation to the May 3, 2018 shooting death of his girlfriend and the mother of his two children, Anako ‘Annette’ Lumumba.
Conflicting reports suggest that Headley was immediately sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars, while other reports said he “faces” the likelihood of that sentence.
In one report on the court proceedings on Friday, WCAX TV said emotions ran high inside the courtroom, as six of Lumumba’s family members spoke to the court, including one of her children.
Headley himself broke down in tears as his daughter took the stand and spoke directly to him. Her name was not disclosed in the reporting.
“You ever think of the trauma I have had to go through because my own father decided to be the cause of my mother’s last breath?” she asked him.
“If you wanted to walk away, you could have done that peacefully,” she told her father.
“Leroy Headley, you deserve everything coming your way. You rot your years in jail and never see the light of day,” Lumumba’s cousin, Joyce, said in court while holding back tears.
For his part, Headley admitted in court, that he committed the crime.
“I shot and killed her and I should have not done that,” he said, adding that “I am truly sorry about it.”
He then turned to his daughter and her other family members to apologise to them, describing Lumumba as his “soul mate” and “best friend”.
Headley is accused of shooting Lumumba and then fleeing on May 3, 2018.
As police responded to the home, a 911 call came in from a man who stated, “I shot her, I shot her”, and gave the address of the South Burlington home, according to a police affidavit. The phone from which the call came was registered to Headley, police said.
Headley’s brother also walked into the police station in Falmouth, Massachusetts to report that Headley had called him and told him that he shot his girlfriend in the head, the affidavit said.
Authorities had been searching for Headley since then. His car was found on May 18, 2018 in Albany, New York.
The US Marshals Service said at the time that he had ties to Jamaica, where he was originally from, and across the US and Canada.
Headley was finally arrested by Jamaican authorities on February 5, 2020 in Negril, Westmoreland.
He was brought back to Vermont, US, where he initially entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered to be held without bail.