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Friday, October 10, 2014

AWOL Soldier Sentenced to 101-Years

Steven Matthew LeClaire, a 26-year-old U.S. Army deserter, was sentenced to jail Friday for killing 24-year-old Marques Murray, attempting to murder his father, and shooting Raymond Eligan at the Cypress Lodge motel.

LeClaire was convicted on August 1, 2014, of one felony count of second-degree murder and two felony counts of attempted murder for the Feb. 24, 2011 shootings.

In the trial, prosecutors said LeClaire abandoned his Army base, boarded a bus to California, and intended to kill his father for giving alcohol to his 14-year-old sister. LeClaire argued the murder was not premeditated, as evidenced by his actions leading up to the shooting.

Authorities said that LeClaire was inside of his hotel room drinking with his father; Murray; and Eligan. Prosecutors said he pointed a firearm at the men and fired 14 rounds, fatally shooting Murray in the arm and chest. Eligan and LeClaire Sr. survived the attack. According to Cypress police, after the shootings, LeClaire left his hotel room and safely surrendered to an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Steven Matthew LeClaire Jr. was ordered to spend 90 years to life in state prison with a determinate sentence of 11 years and four months in state prison. LeClaire also faced sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.


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