One of the two men accused in the 2016 Ghost Bridge murder case received his final sentence in Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins’ court Wednesday morning after pleading guilty to murder and other charges.

Leonardo D. Miller, 24, is one of two men accused in the murder of De’Andre Palmer in July 2016.

Miller appeared in Atkins’ court via Zoom while at the Christian County Jail while his Paducah-based defense attorney Clayton Brown appeared in person to request that Miller simply be sentenced according to his plea deal.

Miller entered a plea deal on Nov. 18 that carried a total sentence of 40 years in prison.

During the plea deal hearing, Christian County Commonwealth’s Attorney Boling explained that the deal carried 40 years for murder, 20 years for robbery, five years for tampering and another five years for his separate theft case.

All of those sentences and both cases were to run concurrently, or at the same time, for a total of 40.

Boling also shared at that time that the commonwealth is opposed to probation and shock probation and that Miller would not be eligible for parole until after he has served 20 years in prison.

Before receiving his sentence, Brown requested on Miller’s behalf that one of the statements included in his presentence investigation report be stricken from the record.

“There’s a sentence at the very end that at turning himself in that Mr. Miller admitted to police that he killed Palmer,” Brown said. “I don’t think that’s accurate as far as what was actually stated to police and as far as discovery (evidence) that we’ve gone through.”

Boling ultimately agreed with Brown’s request and did not oppose the removal of that sentence from the presentence investigation report.

“That would be an appropriate reflection of the crime story,” Boling said.

Atkins then allowed the removal of the statement.

Boling also explained to the judge that in Miller’s theft case, he has already served the amount of time his plea deal recommended and paid all of the restitution owed in that case. Therefore had served out that potential sentence, Boling said.

“I’m going to show in (CR)-16152 that that entire sentence has been served and that documentation will be provided to the Kentucky Department of Corrections,” Atkins said on the matter.

Atkins then continued with Miller’s sentencing on his murder case.

The judge explained to Miller and the court that while Miller was not technically eligible for probation, he still considered probation, but ultimately denied it.

Atkins sentenced Miller according to his deal to 40 total years in prison.

His codefendant in the case, Deqavion James, 23, is currently set for jury trial on Aug. 22.

According to archives, on the night of Palmer’s murder on July 16, 2016, James was told by Miller to shoot Palmer. James shot Palmer once before Miller shot him a second time. Palmer later died from the two gunshot wounds.

Miller is currently charged with murder, first-degree robbery and tampering with physical evidence. Miller is also charged with theft by unlawful taking over $500, but less than $10,000 in an unrelated case.

James and Miller are accused of dumping Palmer’s body near Ghost Bridge on Carter Road in Oak Grove. Palmer was reported missing July 16, 2016. His body was discovered four days later.

James turned himself into police on July 27, 2016, after Kentucky State Police released information indicating he was a suspect in the murder.

Miller was arrested Aug. 5, 2016, at the Christian County Jail where he was being held on a theft charge.

Archives continue to state that KSP Detective Scott Smith testified that he believed James shot Palmer twice in Miller’s home, wrapped Palmer’s body in a blanket and put trash bags over his head and legs before putting him in a closet.

Smith also told the court all items were removed from Palmer’s pockets, including $150, a phone and other items.

The pair then allegedly cleaned up the house and took Palmer’s body to Ghost Bridge, where they dumped it and left. They reportedly used a truck Palmer had been borrowing from a relative. The truck was tested, and evidence was reportedly found in the bed of the truck, Smith said.

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