After less than three hours of jury deliberation, a Mason City man was convicted of first-degree murder on Wednesday in last year’s shooting death of another man outside a Mason City convenience store.
Thirty-two-year-old Jamaal Leslie was found guilty in the killing of 27-year-old Brandon Crawford. Leslie claimed he acted in self-defense last August 9th after a shouting match involving Crawford spilled into an alley behind the store.
Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen says he’s content with the verdict, saying the judicial process properly worked. Dalen says the family can now look back and let Crawford rest and he credited law enforcement for helping to convict Leslie.
Leslie will be sentenced on July 20th. He faces the mandatory term of life in prison without the opportunity for parole.
Taccara Delaughter is a family friend who spoke on behalf Crawford’s family. She says Crawford’s sister, friends and family were happy with the verdict.
She says Crawford’s sister thanks the attorneys that helped to prosecute Leslie, and now Crawford can rest in peace.
Delaughter says she doubts Leslie ever was acting in self-defense. She says, “You can’t claim self-defense when you shot someone in the back. Brandon was never a violent person, he never used weapons…he was always a fighter.”
Delaughter says Crawford was trying to turn his life around.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City