Prosecutors to seek death penalty in hammer attack, relative of victims reacts

DA seeks death penalty for suspect in Terrytown hammer attacks

GRETNA, La. (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a man accused of beating a woman and three children to death with a hammer.

The father and grandfather of the victims said he would welcome Terrance Leonard receiving a death sentence.

"He didn't have to do that. He could have just left, he didn't have to kill my kids, he could have went on about your business, no, you want to do this, you ain't got no right to live,” said Emmett Rhodes.

Rhodes discussed his feelings after Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick announced that a grand jury had indicted Leonard on four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the March attacks inside a Terrytown apartment.

Law enforcement officials say Kristina Riley, 32, her 14-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son, and 9-year-old niece suffered fatal blows to the head after being beaten with a hammer. Riley’s 12-year-old daughter survived the attack.

Rhodes said he is still trying to cope with the tragedy.

"It's still hard, it's hard,” stated Rhodes.

Leonard is also charged with obstruction of justice. Rhodes said he will attend Leonard’s trial.

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