Accused Treasure Feamster shooter Leach takes plea deal
SALISBURY — The man accused of pulling the trigger in the death of a 13-year-old girl during an apparent gang shootout in 2007, putting a spotlight on gang violence, accepted a plea deal Tuesday.
Reginald Terrell Leach, 22, entered an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to avoid admitting guilt while acknowledging prosecutors could secure a conviction. He was sentenced to 100 to 129 months in prison.
“I can’t take responsibility for doing something I didn’t do, but I can take responsibility for my part that actually led up to it,” Leach told the Feamster family. “I apologize for my part.”
Feamster, a Knox Middle School student, was trying to leave a teen party at the J.C. Price American Legion Post when she was shot.
The party ended after an argument inside turned violent. Several shots were fired outside. Police say Feamster was caught in the crossfire and fatally shot. Officers arrested Leach nearly a week later.
Authorities said the argument at the party started between rival gangs. Witnesses who attended the party said they heard people inside the Legion Post shouting “Eastside” and “Westside.”
Feamster’s death was met with public outcries to halt gang violence in Salisbury.
Following Leach’s remarks, Police Chief Rory Collins told the court the shootout changed the way Salisbury looks at gangs.
“This situation did have a major impact on the community,” Collins said. “We have a pretty strong emphasis on gang activity that really began as a result of this scenario.”
“I can’t imagine a sadder situation,” Superior Court Judge W. Erwin Spainhour replied.
After the 2007 shooting, then-Mayor Susan Kluttz hosted a series of “Gang Summits” for residents ready to get involved.
The city also mandated a curfew for children. Area churches also began new summer and after-school programs.
Last fall, Kluttz said Salisbury can still improve.
“We’ve done a lot, as far as prevention and awareness,” Kluttz said. “But I think there’s a lot that still needs to be done.”
Leach pleaded to felony voluntary manslaughter, felony inciting a riot and felony possession of a firearm by a felon. He will receive credit for the some of the six years spent in jail since the shooting.
The Feamster family did not speak in court Tuesday. They could not be reached for comment afterward.
In the days following the shooting, several other Salisbury residents were charged with related offenses at the party.
Alvin Deon Harrell and Elbert Leon Chambers both served time with in the Corrections’ Department for inciting a riot.
Check Wednesday’s Salisbury Post for more information.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.