The Georgia Supreme Court today upheld the conviction of a man found guilty of stabbing his estranged wife 183 times outside her Acworth home in 2004.
Donovan Shane Leger, also known as Donavon Leger, is serving life plus 20 years in prison for aggravated battery and murder in the death of Tracy Leger on Sept. 6, 2004, according to state Corrections Department records.
Tracy Leger’s brother, David Bumbalough, found her body outside the home they shared on Proctor Landing in Acworth after putting her 9-year-old son on the school bus that morning. A baseball cap found by her body had his DNA inside and her DNA outside.
During a search of his Waldrop Circle house, police found a book entitled, “Fugitive: How to Run, Hide and Survive.” At trial, the state executed a search warrant on Leger and took pictures of a “God Forgive Me” chest tattoo he got after his wife’s death.
In April, he appealed his November 2007 murder conviction to the state's highest court. The book and the tatoo were inadmissible and "improperly placed his character at issue," Leger said.
Not so, Justice P. Harris Hines wrote in the court's unanimous opinion.
“There was no error in admitting it, or the photographs of it on the table,” the court said. “Evidence of flight is relevant to the question of guilt, … and evidence of a suspect’s plan to flee is germane to that question.”
The tattoo, Hines wrote, “was properly admitted as evidence of consciousness of guilt.”
Leger has been in the Macon State Prison since Jan. 22, 2008.
Information from Acworth Patch archives was used in this report. Open the PDFs under Leger's photo to read a summary of the court's ruling as well as the full version of the opinion.
- Acworth Murder Goes to Supreme Court