The suspect in a deadly shooting from nearly five years ago that led to an international manhunt will spend 20 years to life behind bars. Leroy Headley, 41, has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of his longtime girlfriend.
On May 3, 2018, Anako ‘Annette’ Lumumba was shot and killed inside the home the couple shared on Southview Drive in South Burlington. Lumumba, 33, was a nurse who emigrated to Vermont from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002. She had three children, two of them with Headley.
The case is one of our region’s most notorious criminal matters in recent memory. Investigators quickly identified Headley as the prime suspect. He fled not only Vermont, but the country, going on the run for nearly two years.
The U.S. Marshals Service placed him on its 15 Most Wanted fugitives list later that year. Then, in mid-January 2020, the true crime program “In Pursuit with John Walsh” exposed the case to a national cable TV audience.
However, the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office tweeted in part:
“Our office is grateful for this closure for Annette’s family, as they move forward in honor of Annette, with love, kindness, and grace.”
Court documents show that prosecutors offered Headley a plea bargain in late November, over the Thanksgiving weekend. His Friday change of plea hearing was scheduled on January 3, which led Headley’s murder trial to be canceled. Had it taken place, it would have begun on Wednesday and would have still been in progress on Friday.
Headley’s plea agreement grants him credit for the nearly three years he’s already spent in custody. This means February 2, 2040 is the earliest that he can be released from prison.