In all honesty, Michelle Saum Schofield’s homicide in February 1987 is one of the most perplexing instances to have ever come to light and involves much more than just the horrifying crime itself. Given that her husband Leo Schofield was previously covered on ABC’s “20/20: Last Seen In Lakeland,” he was later found guilty, but there may be additional evidence implicating someone else. We now have the information you need about the former whether you want to learn more about his alleged role in the incident, the associated legal repercussions, or his current situation.
Leo Schofield: Who is he?
Leo (20) and Michelle (17) were both high school dropouts in 1986 when they first met. They instantly clicked with one another and found it impossible to separate themselves. They got married after their Southside Assembly of God Church reportedly paid for the entire ceremony to encourage them to “stop living in sin,” which happened shortly after they moved in together. Around six months into their (already difficult) marriage, however, everything came to a violent end when Michelle was brutally murdered by being stabbed 26 times, one of the deadliest methods possible.
Truth be told, Leo (who reported Michelle missing) was soon suspected because to the neighbors’, friends’, and family’s reports, which suggested an unhealthy relationship with constant disputes. Some witnesses claimed he was verbally abusive and made frequent threats to his wife’s life, but other witnesses indicated he was not only physically abusive but had also threatened her life on occasion. So the skepticism multiplied when a neighbor insisted she had heard the pair argue on that fateful night and had seen Leo purportedly leave after stuffing a heavy object into his trunk.
Leo’s defense was also hindered by the fact that the Schofield trailer house was allegedly designated as the crime site despite the fact that there was a lot of blood and evidence near the location where Michelle was discovered. The neighbor’s statement had significant inconsistencies, but the 20 more character witnesses who could attest to the defendant’s violent inclinations gave the prosecution’s case an unquestionably stronger case. Leo was actually detained and accused of murder in June 1988; he was just 21 years old when he was pronounced guilty in 1989 after two hours of jury deliberation. The fact that there was no tangible proof against him must be noted.
Currently, where is Leo Schofield?
Leo has been imprisoned for more than 30 years in a state facility and was given a life sentence after being found guilty, but he has consistently maintained his innocence. That is clear from his numerous appeal documents throughout the years, notably after Jeremy Lynn Scott was linked to the case by a fingerprint and reportedly confessed (he later denied doing so), but to no avail. Leo said, “Innocent is no involvement in it, no plan in it, didn’t know it was occurring, didn’t know it was going to happen and didn’t want it to happen,” in an interview with ABC’s “20/20” in 2022. That is who I am.
It’s important to note that the former hopeful band member claimed he wasn’t physically violent during the incident while confessing in court to slapping his wife Michelle twice. In addition to emotional abuse, which I have engaged in, Leo stated that physical abuse is one form of abuse. I was not above striking a wall and acting quite theatrically, and I did a lot of yelling.
Leo Robert Schofield Jr., age 57, is presently a prisoner at Florida’s Hardee Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility in Bowling Green. Leo, his second wife Crissie Carter, their daughter Ashley, and The Innocence Project of Florida are still putting a lot of effort into getting him cleared of all charges even though he will be eligible for parole in 2023. Along with bringing Michelle what they see as proper compensation, they seek to exonerate him.
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