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Man accepts plea deal on drive-by shootings

Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man who faced four counts of attempted murder in connection with a pair of July 2000 drive-by shootings agreed to a plea deal this week that could send him to prison for 25 years.

Leonard Roach, 22, faced a total of 17 criminal counts in connection with the events of last July 27, when he is accused of firing into two vehicles at random and trying to run down an Alaska State Trooper.

He agreed Monday to plead no contest to six counts, including one of attempted murder, with the understanding that his total sentence for the offenses would amount to no more than 25 years in prison.

Roach faces two additional years in prison as a result of a probation violation, and is currently serving a four-year term for burglary, meaning his total time in prison could exceed 30 years.

Roach was charged in connection with two apparently random drive-by shootings that took place July 27.

In the first incident, he allegedly fired at a stopped vehicle, shattering the front windows and narrowly missing both occupants. Later that night, he allegedly fired at another car. Police say the bullet shattered the rear passenger window and lodged in a headrest inches from the head of one of the people in the car.

Police later spotted the vehicle and pursued it at high speed. During that chase, Roach allegedly tried to run down an Alaska State Trooper who was laying spike strips in the road.

After the car was stopped, police say Roach attempted to take his own life by shooting himself in the head, but only grazed himself. He was subsequently taken into custody.

Roach is scheduled for sentencing August 18.



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