Tallahassee man found guilty in brutal stabbing

Leon Woodberry convicted and sentenced to life in prison
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 12:19 PM EDT
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UPDATE: A jury deliberated for two hours Friday before finding Leon Woodberry guilty of a brutal 2016 stabbing.

Court records show Woodberry was sentenced to life in prison for the April 2016 murder of 24-year-old Shannan Gordon.

“I’m glad that after six and a half years, the victim’s family finally got a measure of justice,” Assistant State Attorney James Beville said. “They waited a long time to hear the words they heard tonight.”

We have also reached out to the defense for comment on the guilty verdict.

UPDATE: The jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of Leon Woodberry. Its deliberations began at about 4:30 Friday afternoon.

We will keep you posted on a verdict.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee man accused of stabbing a woman 73 times and dragging her body into the woods is now on trial.

Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected Friday afternoon in the murder trial of Leon Woodberry.

Woodberry is accused in the April 2016 murder of 24-year-old Shannan Gordon. Her body was found in the woods near his apartment. Investigators say a trail of blood led directly to Woodberry’s apartment at Savannah Crossing.

Arrest papers say Woodberry initially denied killing Gordon, but later told investigators the two were arguing in his apartment when she grabbed a knife and slashed his hand. He told officers the two wrestled over the knife and he ultimately stabbed her with it, arrest papers say.

Woodberry took the stand Wednesday and testified in his own defense. He claimed it was self-defense and his attorney contends Woodberry had no obligation to retreat in his own home.

The stabbing happened just months after Woodberry was released from prison. FDLE online records show Woodberry is a registered sexual predator and Florida Department of Corrections records show he served a 15-year sentence for a sexual battery in Palm Beach County before his release in September 2015.

According to arrest papers, Woodberry told police that he met Gordon on Backpage and the two had been on a few dates prior to the stabbing.

The state initially announced its intent to seek the death penalty against Woodberry, but later agreed he is “intellectually disabled” and ineligible for the death penalty under Florida law, court records show.

This week’s trial testimony comes more than six years after Gordon was killed.