On Valentine’s Day seven years ago, South Carolina restauranteur Gregorio M. Leon shot and killed 28-year-old Arturo Bravo after finding him nude in the back of a pickup truck with his wife, Rachel Leon. Earlier this month, a Lexington County jury found Leon guilty of murdering Bravo.
As eleventh circuit solicitor Rick Hubbard built his case against Leon, he repeatedly referenced both the surveillance footage of the incident – and the 9-1-1 call Leon made after the shooting. Until now, though, these crucial pieces of evidence had not been made publicly available.
FITSNews obtained this evidence during pre-production of a forthcoming episode of FITSFiles, which will further analyze the video and audio.
Throughout the trial prosecutors and defense attorneys sparred over wether Leon was blinded by the truck’s headlights as he drew his .357 revolver. You now can see for yourself what jurors weighed in considering Leon’s testimony – in which he held that he couldn’t see into the cab when he produced the weapon.
Leon’s 9-1-1 call, another point of contention, likely helped secure his conviction. Leon attributed his repeated claims that he shot his wife (whom he didn’t shoot) to the confusion of the moments after the shooting – but his emphasis that he shot his wife “and her lover,” may have left the impression with jurors that Leon thought he had killed both parties.
Jurors took less than three hours to render their guilty verdict – and Leon was sentenced to thirty-five years by Walton J. McLeod IV and remanded to the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).
He did not stay an inmate for long, however.
On the evening of June 14, 2023, this media outlet received reports of an incident involving Leon at Kirkland Correctional Institution. According to an SCDC press release, Leon was found hanging in his cell and lifesaving measures were attempted before he was transported to the hospital.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dylan Nolan is a journalist and video producer for FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business with a bachelors in Accounting in 2021, and has spent his professional career attempting to shine light on corruption and institutional failure in South Carolina through his journalism. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.