A Batesville judge will preside at the trial of a Lee County woman accused of killing her ex-husband, and a Batesville assistant district attorney has been selected to prosecute the case.

Circuit Court Judge George C. Carlson Jr., from the state's 17th Circuit District, was named to preside at the trial of Brandy Leonard, 33, accused of murder in the Feb. 24 shooting death of Fred Leonard, 35, at his home near Plantersville.

The three 1st Circuit District judges - Thomas Gardner III, Frank Russell and Barry Ford - recused themselves and 1st Circuit District Attorney John Young and his staff disqualified themselves because of ties to the defendant's family.

Brandy Leonard is the daughter of Sam Reedy, a 1st Circuit assistant district attorney on Young's staff.

Officials said Brandy Leonard was living at her former husband's residence as the pair attempted to reconcile. Leonard was shot three times from behind after returning home from work, investigators said.

Brandy Leonard is currently being held in the Lee County Jail under $5 million bond.

-Philip Moulden

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