Man found guilty of attempted capital murder of Hampton officer gets 2 life sentences


UPDATE: Leonard Morrison was found guilty Wednesday on 18 of 20 charges, including two counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer. The jury sentenced him to two life sentences and 163 years.

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The trial of a man charged in connection to an officer-involved shooting in Hampton is underway.

Leonard Morrison is accused of shooting an officer after an armed robbery in Hampton back in 2017. A bullet hit the officer during a shootout and Morrison was also hurt.

Morrison was charged with attempted capital murder.

Officers charged another man, James Gregory, in the robbery case. Gregory pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced him to 80 years in prison.

Multiple witnesses took the stand against Morrison on Tuesday.

Hampton prosecutor Anton Bell called 5 civilian witnesses who were in or stopped by the Gamestop while the alleged robbery was being committed. 

“The first person came in brandishing a gun and said you know what we’re doing here,” recalled Gamestop manager George Galeota.

Galeota described Morrison going to the back to get a cooler and filling it with games and gaming systems. 

Three then-Hampton Police officers took the stand as well. 

Lieutenant Richard Gainers talked about getting punctured in the chest after Morrison allegedly stole his gun, but his bulletproof vest saved him. 

During the scuffle, he says he tore his ACL and meniscus among other injuries, which caused him to fall to the ground. 

The two other officers involved, Trowbridge and Sledge, gave their account of what happened as they chased the two suspects through a wooded area, on the side of the highway, and into a parking lot. 

“Shoot him, shoot him”, you could hear Gainer say in Trowbridge’s body camera footage.

The defense attorney, James Phillips Jr, says it’s not clear if they will call witnesses on Wednesday or not, but the judge says he hopes to have a verdict by the end of the day. 

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