James Gordon Leonard, a 64 year old former Waxahachie attorney, was sentenced to life in prison in the 40th District Court of Ellis County on June 6, 2012. Leonard, who had pleaded guilty to Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, Indecency with a Child by Contact and Indecency with a Child by Exposure on April 10, 2006, had been granted community supervision.
In May 2007, Leonard absconded from supervision and fled the United States. After four years of hiding in the country of Honduras in Central America, the United States Marshall Service located him, and in October 2011, with the assistance of the Honduran authorities, Leonard was detained, expelled from Honduras, and escorted by the Marshall Service back to the United States.
In a hearing on the State’s Amended Motion to Revoke Community Supervision, Judge Bob Carroll heard the facts of Leonard’s resistance to abide by the terms of supervision, his planning to leave the country, and his fugitive escape to Honduras. The Judge also heard from one of Leonard’s victims about the impact his crime made upon her life and her family's lives. Then the grandfather of twin girls that were also victims of Leonard told how the crime had devastated the girls’ lives and his and his wife’s lives.
Leonard pleaded for mercy due to the hardships the conditions of supervision placed upon him, and his being labeled a sex offender. Judge Carroll found that Leonard had violated his conditions of supervision, and revoked all three community supervisions. Saying that there was a time and place for mercy, but it was not warranted in these cases, Judge Carroll sentenced Leonard to the maximum sentence of confinement for each case and then ruled that his sentences would be served consecutively. His sentences were life, 20 years and 10 years, respectively. With the sentences being consecutive, Leonard will have to serve a minimum of 45 years before being eligible for parole.
The Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office wants to thank the US Marshall Service, the Government of Honduras, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, the Harris County Community Supervision & Corrections Department, and the Ellis County Community Supervision & Corrections Department for their assistance and cooperation in seeing that a sex offender and fugitive from justice ultimately received the justice that he deserved.
Ellis County & District Attorney’s Office
109 S. Jackson Street
Waxahachie, TX 75165