NEW DETAILS: Leach Could Face Death Penalty

Najee Leach (BCSO photo)
Najee Leach (BCSO photo)

The man charged with killing a pregnant woman and her child could face the death penalty.

District Attorney Jon David said today that Najee Dizon Leach, 31, was held under no bond on charges of first degree murder of Bolivia Monique Williams of Whiteville and murder of her unborn child. Bond was set at $2.5 million for his additional charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

At a first appearance this morning in Bladen County, David and Asst. District Attorney Allan Adams asked Superior Court Judge Heath Nance to remand Leach without bail.

Leach and Williams had been in a relationship. Deputies found her shot to death on Dixon Road Tuesday night while responding to a shots fired call.

David said that he is considering asking the court for the death penalty in the case.

“In the coming weeks I will convene a panel of senior prosecutors to evaluate whether to pursue the death penalty in this matter,” he said. “In this case there are multiple aggravating factors that merit serious consideration.”

David said considering capital punishment is not unusual in murder cases.

“My office systematically reviews all homicides to determine whether seeking the death penalty is appropriate,” he said. “We embrace this process for all cases in an effort to be even-handed in our approach.”

Williams was 25 weeks pregnant when she was shot to death on Dixon Road Tuesday. Leach fled the scene but was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

General Statute 14-23.2  defines murder of an unborn child and says “A person who unlawfully causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of the separate offense of murder of an unborn child” if the person willfully and maliciously commits an act with the intent to cause the death of the unborn child;  causes the death of the unborn child in perpetration or attempted perpetration of any of the criminal offenses set forth under G.S. 14‐17 and “commits an act causing the death of the unborn child that is inherently dangerous to human life and is done so recklessly and wantonly that it reflects disregard of life.”

The maximum penalty for murder of an unborn child is life without parole, but Leach could face a capital murder charge for Williams’ death.

About Jefferson Weaver 2095 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].