Greenville, MS—Leonard Stevenson, Jr., 28, of Greenville was convicted of a second Capital Murder in Washington County following a two-day jury trial, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.
During the trial, attorneys for the state presented testimony that in the early afternoon of February 4, 2017, friends and business associates of Alonzo Dukes became worried when they had not heard from him for several hours and he had not visited either of his offices. One of his partners decided to check his residence. When they arrived, he noticed the garage door partially open and at least two interior doors ajar—increasing their concern. They immediately exited Dukes’ home and notified the Leland Police Department which swiftly responded to the scene. A search of the residence by the first responding officer followed and he happened upon what he described to be a gruesome scene forever etched in his memory.
Alonzo Dukes was found lying on the floor in a pool of blood next to a large hole in the wall which was also covered in blood. The command staff of the Leland Police Department arrived on scene and assisted with the search during which they noticed multiple areas in the home where electronics and other valuable items would ordinarily be. They were also advised by witnesses on scene that Dukes drove a blue van that was not present—though he was. The van was listed as stolen on a national database.
The evidence at trial further demonstrated that the lead investigator received a call from the Little Rock Police Department informing him that the stolen van had been recovered and that Stevenson had been arrested for being in possession of the stolen vehicle. Lead Investigator, Louis White traveled to Arkansas along with investigators from the Greenville Police Department who were also investigating a separate homicide in which Stevenson was the primary suspect. They made contact with Stevenson in an attempt to speak with him about the Dukes killing. Stevenson initially denied any knowledge or involvement in the murder but, after being confronted with the evidence they had already gathered against him, he eventually confessed to the killing and robbery of Alonzo Dukes.
Following a series of pre-trial motions, Stevenson exercised his constitutional right to trial and was convicted by a jury of his peers on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 9, 2022 just one day shy of a year since he was convicted of the Capital Murder of Billy Smiley.
The Washington County jury announced its verdict convicting Stevenson of Capital Murder in open court at the Washington County Convention Center after just under two hours of deliberation. Stevenson was thereafter sentenced by Senior Circuit Judge Ashley Hines to Life Without Parole—consecutive, or to follow, the sentence he received for the killing of Billy Smiley.
Assistant District Attorneys Kaylon McCou and Austin Frye offered closing remarks before the jury in which they argued that convicting Stevenson of Capital Murder—the most serious crime in our state—was the only just thing to do. “It is unfortunate that, for whatever senseless reason, this defendant killed Alonzo Dukes and then stole property from his home. There is no excuse for his actions and we are thankful that the jury delivered the justice Dukes and his family deserved” McCou added.
The Office of the District Attorney is deeply appreciative for the diligent work of the Leland Police Department, Greenville Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as well as the patience of the Dukes family while the criminal justice system operated.