Riverview woman who claimed self-defense convicted of murder

TAMPA — After less than three hours of deliberation, a jury found Tamra Leasure guilty of second-degree murder Thursday, rejecting her claim that she fired three times in self-defense.

Leasure, 45, of Riverview was taken into custody and her bond was revoked. Tears poured from family members on both sides of the courtroom.

"I love you, beautiful," Leasure told her 16-year-old daughter, cradling her teary face and kissing her before she was led away.

On March 5, 2009, Leasure shot Arthur Tilley, 57, three times, killing him in her kitchen. She claimed she acted in self-defense, trying to protect herself from a drunk friend who told her he was going to kill her, shoved her and came at her. Law enforcement officials testified that Leasure lied at first about shooting Tilley and kept changing her story.

Leasure will be sentenced March 14. Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Her attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said they are considering an appeal.

Riverview woman who claimed self-defense convicted of murder 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:10pm]

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