Leroy Headley pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second degree murder charges in connection to the 2018 killing of his longtime girlfriend, Annette Lumumba. Emotions ran high for the loved ones of Lumumba as Headley entered the courtroom after nearly two years on the run.
“It’s a day we’ve been waiting for,” said Adolphe Lumumba, Annette’s brother. “But it’s not over once it’s here.”
In May of 2018, police say Leroy Headley shot Lumumba to death in her South Burlington home. He fled the state, and eventually the country, managing to evade authorities for months, which landed him a spot on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted List.
But the running came to an end on February 5th, when HEadley was arrested by Jamaican officials. Returning to Vermont, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, at the same time coming face to face with the Lumumba family
“As you can tell, this has been a really long time coming for them,” said Chittenden County State’s Attorney, Sarah George. “They’ve clearly struggled with that next step, with that missing part of him not being accountable to the charge”
Lumumba’s mother wailed out in grief during the hearing as the family continues to grapple with Annette’s loss.
“It’s all about family from now on and that’s all my focus, is all on family,” Adolphe Lumumba said.
Headley’s arrest also brought some closure to the South Burlington Police Department, who has been tirelessly working toward his arrest.
“We do this work on behalf of the survivors” said Chief Shawn Burke. “We’re proud of the investigation thus far and we’ll work endlessly with the prosecutors office to make sure some sense of justice can be found in this tragedy.”
Leroy Headley is being held without bail. He’s expected back in court in the next few weeks. The judge also told him not to contact the Lumumba family, which includes the two children he shared with Annette.