Slaying will go to trial – Details may finally emerge from death at Edwards Crossing
By the time witnesses begin taking the stand at the trial of accused murderer Lauren Hayes, prosecutors will have had more than two years to piece together the events they believe led to her ex-boyfriend’s slaying.
At the beginning of the trial, which was scheduled Friday to begin Sept. 20, Nevada County prosecutors will have to say once and for all whether they believe a second person was involved in the murder of Lawrence Leffingwell. Since the killing, authorities have released few details about how or why they suspect the crime was committed.
On Sept. 5, 2003, a passerby found the body of 50-year-old Leffingwell lying outside of his car at Edwards Crossing along the South Yuba River, with a fatal gunshot wound to the back of his neck.
Within days, investigators arrested Hayes, who in turn pointed to Cedar Ridge resident Joshua Everton as an accomplice, investigators said. Everton was arrested but then released because the evidence did not match with Hayes’ statements, according to authorities.
Last year, investigators again said Hayes might not have been the only one involved. However, she is the only one who faces charges in the shooting.
After the trial date was set Friday, Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson declined to discuss the investigation into the murder.
At the time of his death, Leffingwell had recently ended his relationship with Hayes and accused her of stealing from him, according to the victim’s family and friends.
Hayes has prior felony convictions for burglary, grand theft and forgery.
At a court hearing last year, Nevada County Sheriff’s investigators revealed that in the weeks leading up to the murder, Hayes reportedly asked her new boyfriend for shooting lessons, and it was the boyfriend’s gun that was used in the slaying.
The boyfriend has been proven to be out of the area at the time of the shooting, investigators said previously.
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