INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — LeShannon Shelly, 29, has been found guilty in the 2011 slaying of Shanice Smith, of Gifford, according to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
In Judge Robert Pegg's courtroom, a jury handed down a guilty verdict to Shelly, according to authorities. Shelly was found guilty on all charges and faces sentencing at a later date.
Shelly is facing life in prison, according to the Sheriff's Office. The trial began this past Tuesday, when Indian River County Sheriff's Cpl. Scott Sposato, Lt. Tony Consalo and Det. Robert Newman, Jeremy Shepherd, and Michael Snowhill, as well as Crime Scene Technician Nicole Casey testified.
"We are proud of the work that our men and women do every day. It is often difficult being patient as these trials progress through the system. Today, our patience paid off," said Deryl Loar, Sheriff of Indian River County.
Originally reported Dec. 15, 2011
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The Indian River County Sheriff's Office Thursday afternoon announced it had arrested a suspect in the overnight shooting that killed one woman and left another critically injured. The man arrested is believed to have been involved in a relationship with one of the women.
Sheriff Deryl Loar announced the arrest of Leshannon Shelly, 26, in the murder of 19-year-old Shanice Smith and attempted murder of Brittany Jackson, 18, at the Orangewood Park Apartments.
Investigators believe Shelly had been in a romantic relationship with Jackson that might have ended prior to the shooting.
Sheriff Loar said Shelly confessed to shooting both women and explained that he and Jackson had a heated discussion during which he became frustrated.
The sheriff said he did not know why Smith was shot other than she was with Jackson at the time of the shooting.
Sheriff Loar said deputies leaving the office shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the nearby neighborhood and they responded to the scene as a 911 call came into the dispatch center.
Authorities cordoned off the area and began to search for a possible shooter while investigators detained those near the scene for questioning.
Overnight, Shelly reported to the Sheriff's Office to tell them he had nothing to do with the shooting. Shelly became the primary suspect in the case and investigators found probable cause to hold him for the murder of Smith and attempted murder of Jackson.
Sheriff Loar also commented on the numbers of murders within Indian River County as of late - four within the last month or so, including two in the City of Vero Beach.
This case is an "isolated domestic violence tragedy," he said, noting that in three of the four cases, the suspect and victim knew each other. The exception was the barrier island murder that resulted from an interrupted home burglary.
"Indian River County continues to be a safe county," Sheriff Loar said.