Jury Decides On More Time For Woman Convicted Of Killing Mother

Yalanda Lind (Jail photo)
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WACO (June 30, 2014) A jury decided on more prison time Monday for Yalanda Renee Lind, 39 of Waco, who was automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when she was convicted of capital murder in her mother’s death.

Lind was convicted not only of capital murder Friday night in the stabbing death of her mother, Rebecca Leonard, but also aggravated assault stemming from injuries to her mother’s boyfriend, Jerry Patterson, who suffered multiple stab wounds in the same attack and almost died.

Jurors returned to court Monday to determine punishment on the aggravated assault charge and decided on a maximum 20-year term.

The sentence is academic unless the capital murder conviction is overturned.

“We are extremely pleased with the jury’s verdict,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett said Monday afternoon.

“Yalanda Lind committed a senseless, horrifying murder of her mother,” she said.

“Becky Leonard can finally rest in peace.”

Jurors returned the guilty verdicts after hours of deliberation on Friday.

Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty.

Yalanda Lind rejected a plea deal that would have allowed her to seek parole.

The plea deal Lind rejected called for her to plead guilty in exchange for a 35-year sentence for murder and a 20-year sentence for robbery, both to be served concurrently.

Lind was accused of acting with Jeremy Lowrey to murder her mother, Rebecca Leonard, prosecutors say.

Leonard, 52, was stabbed to death and her boyfriend Jerry Patterson was seriously injured in an Oct. 13, 2008 attack at the couple's Watt Avenue home.

Lowrey pleaded guilty to capital murder on June 15, 2012, but two weeks later was sentenced to life in prison on the lesser charge of murder, which means he can qualify for parole after serving 30 years.

Judge Matt Johnson sentenced Lowrey on the lesser charge after a recommendation from the state and following consent from the victim's family.

Lowrey, 30, also was sentenced to life after he pleaded guilty to an attempted capital murder charge that stemmed from the same stabbing incident.

Johnson ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

Lowrey, who at the time was McLennan County longest serving jail inmate, having served more than 1,350 days in county jail awaiting trial, admitted that he stabbed and killed Rebecca Leonard, 52, and stabbed her boyfriend, Jerry Patterson, during what prosecutors called a home invasion.

But subsequent investigation led prosecutors to believe Lind actually arranged the murder.

She was arrested June 29, 2012, after a McLennan County Grand Jury returned a capital murder indictment against her.

It was not clear what led police and prosecutors to seek the indictment against Lind so long after the murder was committed, but it was known that Lowrey was intensely de-briefed over two sessions after he agreed to plead guilty.

Lind, who reported the incident, told officers she stayed the night at her mother's home and awoke to find her ex-boyfriend, Lowrey, standing in her bedroom.

She told police that her mother and Patterson entered the bedroom and were attacked by the knife-wielding assailant who fled before police arrived.