Man sentenced in Columbus murder case

Leronn Gregory
Staff Writer

A tearful mother asks “why” and says a 30-year sentence for the Clay County native who killed her son means the family knows “justice has been served.”

It was an emotional moment in Lowndes County Circuit Court Monday as Geraldine Gordon, the mother of 25-year-old Brandon Gordon, spoke to 26-year-old Leronn Gregory standing in the courtroom just a few feet away.

Gregory had pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Brandon Gordon’s shooting death on Jan. 3, 2016 in an East Columbus neighborhood. Gregory originally had been charged with first-degree. Murder but agreed to plead guilty to the reduce charge. First degree murder carried life in prison.

It was a shooting all started by social media posts.

As part of the plea agreement, Gregory, who was born in Clay County and still has relatives in the county, was sentenced to 40 years with 10 suspended, leaving 30 to serve. He also was fined $2,400 and once released from prison will have to serve another five years on post-release supervision.

Under current state sentencing laws, he must serve the 30 years day-for-day.

During a brief statement, the victim’s mother told Gregory he couldn’t understand “the pain I go through every day.”

“Anything the court does is not going to bring my son back … At least we feel better and we know justice has been served,” she said.

In an earlier victim’s impact statement, she said she felt helpless and had “no joy, no peace in my life.”

The shooting came just four days before Brandon and Victoria Gordon’s wedding anniversary, according to court records.

In her victim impact statement, Victoria Gordon said she “lost the love of my life.”

It was some Facebook messages Leronn Gregory sent to her that apparently sparked the shooting, District Attorney Scott Colom said during Monday’s sentencing.

Brandon apparently saw a message wishing her a happy New Year and thought it was suggestive. He “reacted negatively and went to confront him over the inappropriate” message, Colom told the judge.

Gregory apparently was at his Chestnut Street home and shot Gordon at some point in the neck and the back. Gordon called 911 as he stumbled away from the shooting scene and in a dying declaration, told a dispatcher, “LG shot me.”

By tracking the location of his cell phone, police were able to find him in the backyard of a home at 142 Beech St. He died before he could talk to investigators and police never did determine exactly where the shooting happened or what transpired. No gun was found with Gordon when he was located.

But with the “LG” identification and other information, Columbus Police detectives arrested Leronn Gregory, who is a Clay County native and was a truck driver at the time, on Jan. 4, 2016 at his father’s home on Florence Street.

While he was out on bond on the murder charge, he was charged with aggravated assault in another case last spring. As part of Monday’s plea agreement, that charge was retired.