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Sentencing delayed for man convicted in Auburn football players' deaths

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OPELIKA, Alabama — A judge has delayed the sentencing of a man convicted of capital murder for the shooting deaths of two former Auburn University football players and a third man.

A Lee County judge has rescheduled the sentencing for Desmonte Leonard until Jan. 7. Leonard's attorney requested more time to prepare for the hearing since Leonard is facing the death penalty.

A jury last month convicted Leonard in the 2012 shooting deaths that occurred when Leonard opened fire outside a party in Auburn. The panel rejected claims that Leonard fired in self-defense because he believed his life was in danger.

The jury recommended that Leonard receive life in prison instead of the death penalty. Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III will make the final decision.

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