Sunday, April 14

2 men sentenced to life in prison in separate murders

Two Palm Beach County men have been sentenced to life in prison in separate first-degree murders.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Caroline Shepherd sentenced Leon Nugent, 26, of Belle Glade, to life in the August 2020 shooting death of Luc Louis, 23, in Belle Glade. Shepherd also sentenced Nugent to 15 years each on charges of armed robbery and felony possession of a firearm, with the sentences to be served consecutively.

Also Thursday, Gary Leconte, 42, of Greenacres, was found guilty in the death of an unidentified woman near West Palm Beach. Circuit Judge Deliah Weiss immediately sentenced him to life in prison.

At 1:09 a.m. Oct. 30, 2021, deputies responded to a shooting at Foster’s Shak at the corner of Belvedere Road and Congress Avenue.

When deputies arrived, they found a woman in a vehicle dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Surveillance video showed a male wearing a mask like the one worn by the villain in the horror film “Friday the 13th” approach the car and try to open the front passenger door. He failed multiple times and then fired a single shot through the window before fleeing.

PBSO said deputies recovered Leconte’s thumbprint from the car door. They also found in the vehicle the woman’s cellphone, which included texts from a romantic relationship gone bad. They said the phone number receiving them is linked to LeConte.

Family members told investigators she had been dating a Black man, only known as “Tyson,” and it was volatile.

In the other murder, a jury on Dec. 4 found Nugent guilty of the charges, including first-degree murder.

Nugent originally faced a second-degree murder charge but he was indicted on first-degree murder.

At 6:53 p.m. August 23, 2020, deputies were dispatched to 190 State Road 715 regarding a man who was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a four-door white Acura. An autopsy determined he had gunshot wounds to the forehead, right cheek and right arm. The man’s identity has not been released.

During a search of the vehicle, detectives found a wallet in the front passenger seat, including identification listed as Nugent, who had been released from prison in May 2020.

Occupants who live near the scene told detectives they were familiar with Nugent. In later investigation, they learned he would periodically come to the victim’s residence to borrow a bicycle.

He was arrested in Orlando and taken to the Palm Beach County jail.

While in jail Nugent has had two additional charges: battery on a law enforcement officer on Oct. 6, 2021, and introduced contraband on Sept. 15, 2022.

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