Convicted Murderer Walks Free After New Assault: Woman Choked, Cut, Sexually Assaulted, and Drugs Found

Leonardo A. White – Age 39

On October 17, 2023, around 9:03 a.m., Officer Binkley encountered a woman who was visibly upset and covered in blood on the left side of her head, which had soaked into her hair. Officer Binkley reported that the woman had a significant laceration above her left ear on her scalp.

The woman informed Officer Brinkley that she had been at 1210 E. Washington St. with a man named Leonardo A. White, age 39, who sold drugs. She told Officer Brinkley that she uses drugs and explained that for the past several days, Leonardo had prevented her from getting any sleep. She described that whenever she tried to sleep, Leonardo would smack her in the mouth.

The woman said at 5:00 a.m., a verbal dispute escalated into a physical confrontation when Leonardo suspected her of hiding his heroin. The woman informed Officer Binkley that Leonardo forcefully removed her shirt and pants and conducted a “cavity search” for the heroin. She described how Leonardo held her down, got on top of her, and strangled her around the neck, impeding her breathing and alternately covering her nose and mouth. He then cut the left side of her head with a box cutter and threatened her life by holding the blade against her neck. At some point, after Leonardo fell asleep due to being heavily intoxicated, the woman managed to leave the property.

According to officers, the woman was in and out of consciousness, had a large amount of blood on her head, and bruising on her neck.

After taking the report, Officer Binkley and officers with the Springfield Police Department Street Crimes Unit went to 1210 E. Washington, Apartment #209, in an effort to find Leonardo. When Officer Binkley knocked on the door, Leonardo jumped out of the second-story window, landing on an air conditioner before making contact with Officers Manzanares and Steffen, who ordered him to the ground. Leonardo, who had ducked down behind a fence, was taken into custody.

A search after the arrest revealed a plastic bag containing a white, rock-like substance that later tested positive for cocaine. It weighed around 8.93 grams, with its packaging. Additionally, a social security card for the woman was found in Leonardo’s pocket. Nearby the spot where Leonardo had hidden behind the fence, another plastic bag was discovered, containing what appeared to be heroin. It weighed about 25 grams, with its packaging. On top of the bag of suspected heroin, the woman’s identification card and a LINK card were found. Officers noted that it appeared Leonardo had attempted to conceal these items with rocks. Without being asked, Leonardo said the identification and LINK cards were his, but not the bag of suspected heroin. While Officer Steffen was speaking with another officer about the apartment, Leonardo stated that he didn’t live there and didn’t have any property in the apartment, noting that he was the resident’s caregiver. The resident confirmed that ‘Leo’ resided in the bedroom but clarified that the holster did not belong to Leo. He stated that it was his, and there were no firearms in the apartment.

Officer Steffen then obtained a search warrant for the apartment. After the warrant was signed, Officer Steffen returned to the apartment, where additional officers, including Sgt. Spaid, Officer Wise, Officer Craven, Officer Manzanares, and Detective Bivens, were present. Detective Bivens documented the apartment through photographs, while Officer Manzanares maintained an evidence log. A blood-stained shirt, a blood-stained pillowcase, and another blood-stained shirt were located in the apartment. In a table drawer within the common area, a bag containing a substance resembling methamphetamine and three digital scales were also found.

According to records, Leonardo has an extensive criminal history, with prior charges and convictions of homicide, assault, dangerous drugs, flight/escape, and weapons offenses. A warrant search also revealed two active Sangamon County warrants for Leonardo, both associated with failure to appear in court, with a bond amount of $7,500, subject to a 10% fee.

Leonardo was taken to the Sangamon County Jail and released on October 19, 2023 at 2:03 p.m., without charges.

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