Trial ends for notorious hate crime rampage in an East Liberty Target store
In March of 2013, a white 16 year old girl was stabbed inside a Target in East Liberty. It was an unprovoked racial hate crime. When other customers tried to help the girl, the perp uses her as a shield and continues stabbing her. The perp had also stabbed a man in front of the Target store. The entire ordeal was captured on surveillance video.
The perp has not been sentenced yet, but he appears to be getting off easy by claiming insanity.
Leon Walls was found guilty but mentally ill on attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person in his attack against Allison Meadows.
But, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, for the first stabbing outside the Target of a man named Jobe Wright.
“Disappointing in some of the charges that didn’t stick involving the people who helped rescue Allison,” said her father, Glen.
Michael Turner is one of the men who assisted Meadows while trying to subdue Walls during the attack.
He expressed the same frustration, “I wasn’t happy with it because all charges were dropped against the guys who put their lives on the line and they dropped all charges against him.”
The 44-year-old Walls will be sentenced at a later date.
University of Pittsburgh Law Professor John Burkoff helped craft the “guilty but mentally ill” law decades ago, and said he had never seen a verdict split like this one.
“This is a really weird verdict,” Burkoff said. “Here’s what the jury was saying: in respect to some of these charges, he was insane. But with respect to some of the other charges, he was not insane. But he was mentally ill.”