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Inmate Charged in Tampa Murder

Hillsborough County law enforcement used DNA evidence and technology to identify Otano Anton Leggett, currently a Florida state prison inmate, as a suspect in an early 2012 Tampa murder. Leggett is serving a two-year sentence at the Liberty Correctional Institution outside Tallahassee for unrelated drug offenses. He has now been charged with first-degree murder.

Just before noon on February 12, 2012, Nancy Grooms was found dead in her bedroom at 920 122nd Ave., Apt. B, Tampa, according to the Hillsborough County sheriff's office. Detectives went to the scene and the Medical Examiner's Office ultimately determined she died from multiple stab wounds.

Detectives allegedly uncovered video surveillance from two convenience stores which showed Grooms accompanied by a man, later identified as Leggett. According to detectives, Grooms was wearing the same clothing in the videos as the day she was found dead.

Witnesses allegedly reported that Leggett was seen leaving Grooms' residence, but she had not been seen or heard from until her body was found. DNA evidence linked Leggett to Grooms prior to her death, the sheriff's office said.

Homicide detectives got an arrest warrant Friday for Leggett charging him with first-degree murder with a weapon. He will be transported to Hillsborough County from the correctional facility to be arraigned on the new charges. A first-degree murder conviction carries with it a life sentence or a death sentence. It is yet to be determined and disclosed whether the state intends to pursue the death penalty if Leggett is convicted of first-degree murder.

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  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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