Supreme Court won’t review Laurent conviction

Published 3:08 pm Friday, August 17, 2012

The Mississippi Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal from Leo Lucas Laurent Jr., who was convicted in one of the Gulf Coast’s most high-profile murder cases in recent years.

The investigation into the death of Brandi Laurent lasted almost three years. It ended in 2010 with the conviction of her husband, Leo Laurent, a former youth soccer coach who is serving a life sentence.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and life sentence in January. The Mississippi Supreme Court decided not to take up the case in a ruling

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The couple was living in a FEMA trailer near Kiln when Brandi Laurent disappeared on Aug. 3, 2007. Leo Laurent contacted the media the next day and claimed his wife had been abducted by drug dealers.

The 29-year-old mother of two reportedly left on foot, without her car, identification, keys, phone or cash. Leo Laurent told reporters he had been unsuccessfully searching for his wife.

Three months later, her remains were found in a shallow grave in a field about a mile from their home. Her death was ruled homicide by suffocation.

Leo Laurent was arrested on Jan. 9, 2008, and charged with murder. He had told deputies she left their home after the two argued. He also said she had been using drugs for several days.

He was convicted on Jan. 30, 2010 in Forrest County, where the trial was moved because of pretrial news coverage.

At trial, defense attorneys called Laurent’s wife’s death an accident.