Judge denies new trial for man convicted in Auburn triple killing

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OPELIKA, Alabama — A judge is refusing a new trial for the man convicted of murder in a triple killing in Auburn.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker refused to grant Desmonte Leonard a second trial in a ruling Thursday.

The decision means the 25-year-old Leonard can now challenge his conviction before a state appeals court.

Leonard is serving life without parole after being convicted last year of fatally shooting three people during a party at an apartment complex in Auburn in June 2012. The victims included two former Auburn University football players.

WSFA-TV (http://bit.ly/1JQGvzv ) reports that the defense contends the judge didn't instruct jurors on the law properly. Leonard's lawyer also claims the case should be tried again so jurors can hear new instructions on self-defense.

Prosecutors objected to a second trial.

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