The February 1987 homicide of Michelle Saum Schofield is honestly in all probability essentially the most confounding circumstances to have ever come to delicate, and it goes loads previous the exact, atrocious offense itself. After all, as profiled on ABC’s ’20/20: Last Seen In Lakeland,’ her husband Leo Schofield has since been convicted, however there’s potential proof that any particular person else absolutely could also be involved. So now, within the occasion you wish to examine further regarding the former — notably his supposed hand throughout the matter, his licensed penalties, along with his current standing — we’ve obtained the necessary particulars for you.
Who is Leo Schofield?
It was once more in 1986 when highschool dropouts Leo (20) and Michelle (17) first bought right here all through one another, solely to develop such an instantaneous connection that they merely couldn’t maintain away. They thus moved in collectively merely a short while later after which ended up tying the knot as quickly as their Southside Assembly of God Church paid for all the wedding ceremony ceremony to help them “quit living in sin.” However, each factor bought right here to a sudden end spherical six months into their (already tumultuous) marriage because of Michelle was murdered in certainly one of many worst strategies attainable; stabbed 26 situations.
The actuality is Leo (who reported Michelle missing) bought right here beneath suspicion pretty shortly owing to the narratives of their neighbors, associates, and family suggesting an abusive relationship with fights at every flip. While some witnesses reported fairly just a few verbal exploits, others claimed he was not merely bodily nevertheless had moreover gone as far as to threaten his partner’s life at one deadline. Therefore, when a neighbor claimed she’d heard the couple get into an argument on that fateful night, solely to later see Leo depart upon shoving a giant object into his trunk, the doubts elevated multifold.
The reality the Schofield trailer dwelling was reportedly acknowledged as a result of the crime scene no matter there being an entire lot of blood/proof on the spot the place Michelle was found didn’t help Leo’s case each. And whereas there have been crucial discrepancies throughout the neighbor’s account, the 20 totally different character witnesses to testify on his violent tendencies moreover made the prosecutors’ facet undeniably stronger. Leo was actually arrested and charged with murder in June 1988 — he was found accountable of the an identical following two hours of jury deliberation in 1989, which means he was merely 21 on the time. It’s essential to note there was no bodily proof in direction of him.
Where is Leo Schofield Today?
Although Leo was sentenced to life in jail upon conviction and has unchangingly spent the earlier 30+ years behind bars in a state facility, he has certainly not wavered from his claims of innocence. That’s evident by his quite a few attraction filings over time, notably after Jeremy Lynn Scott obtained tied to the matter by a fingerprint after which confessed (he later recanted), nevertheless to no avail. “Innocent is no part in it, no plan in it, didn’t know it was happening, didn’t know it was going to happen, and didn’t want it to happen,” Leo knowledgeable ABC’s ’20/20′ simply currently. “That is me.”
We should level out that whereas the earlier aspiring band member had confessed to slapping his partner Michelle twice on the stands in courtroom, he acknowledged he was not bodily violent throughout the episode. “Physical abuse is one type of abuse and then you have the emotional abuse, which I’m guilty of,” he admitted. “I did a lotta yelling…and I wasn’t beyond punching a wall and being very theatrical,”
As for his whereabouts, 57-year-old Leo Robert Schofield Jr. is at current incarcerated on the mixed-security Hardee Correctional Institution in Bowling Green, Florida. He will doubtless be eligible for parole subsequent yr, nevertheless he, his second partner Crissie, and The Innocence Project of Florida proceed to work exhausting for his exoneration. They must clear his title along with convey what they think about may be justice to Michelle.