New York State In-depth

Leroy Headley pleads guilty to the 2018 murder of Anako Lumumba

A man accused of killing his local girlfriend in 2018 then fled to Jamaica, where he evaded authorities for nearly two years, pleading guilty to second-degree murder on Friday and serving 20 years of life in prison sentenced.

Leroy Headley, 41, originally pleaded not guilty in connection with the shooting death of Anako “Annette” Lumumba at the South Burlington home they shared with their two children.

Headley apologized in court, saying he was “deeply and truly sorry” for killing Lumumba, describing her as his “best friend and soul mate.”

Many members of Lumumba’s family and friends were on trial.

Read our special report from 2018:Fatal Consequences: How the System Failed to Save Anako Lumumba

“For us, I just have to, I think, carry on her legacy and be a family,” Adolphe Lumumba, the victim’s brother, told WCAX-TV.

On May 3, 2018, authorities received a 911 call from a man who, according to a police affidavit, said, “I shot her, I shot her,” and gave the South Burlington address of the home. The phone was registered to Headley, police said.

Chronicle of Leroy Headley:Domestic violence: 15 years abuse allegations, no criminal convictions

Headley’s car was found in Albany, New York on May 18, 2018. The US Marshals Service said he has ties to Jamaica, where he is originally from, as well as the US and Canada.

He was arrested by Jamaican authorities in Negril on February 5, 2020, officials said. He was brought back to Vermont, where he pleaded not guilty and was being held without bail.

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