McKINNEY — A Collin County jury needed less than two hours Friday to convict Michael Kevin Adams of the capital murder of his ex-fiancee.
Adams received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole since prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. The sentence will be automatically appealed.
Authorities say Adams, 53, killed Nicole Leger because she was going to testify against him in another case. They say Leger, 43, had told police that Adams drugged, kidnapped and raped her after they broke up. He was facing possible life imprisonment on those charges.
“He’s going to end up killing me,” she told police at the time. The audio was replayed Friday during closing arguments.
Disobeying a protective order and attempting to make up with her while out on bail, Adams sent a card to Leger’s apartment in Frisco.
“He tried the nice way to get her to drop the charges,” prosecutor Thomas Ashworth told the jury. “But the nice way didn’t work.”
Leger was scared, reiterating to her teenage son, her father and friends what she told police after the March 2013 rape and kidnapping — that Adams had ways of finding her and would kill her.
She moved to Melissa, using a friend’s name to try to rent a home and connect utilities without Adams’ knowledge. She was found dead by her son in September 2013, with two gunshot wounds to the head. Leger was Melissa’s first murder victim, prosecutors and local authorities said.
Melissa police Capt. Kyle Babcock, the lead investigator, hugged the victim’s now-20-year-old son, Trey Leger, when the verdict was read in court.
“She was a mom, a human being and a person who deserved none of this,” said prosecutor Paul Anfosso. He said much of the defense team’s focus on Leger as someone who danced in clubs, had sex with two unidentified men the day she was killed and exchanged nude photographs with several men was meant to devalue her life.
During the trial, defense attorneys tried to cast doubt on whether the state had enough evidence to prove its case. They accused authorities of “confirmation bias” — focusing on evidence that pointed only to Adams as the suspect and not looking at evidence that may have led to others.
In closing arguments, defense attorney Steve Miears spotlighted Scott Greer, the detective in the kidnap-rape investigation who later had a relationship with Leger.
“They don’t come any dirtier,” Miears said of Greer. “He lied to you. He lied to Ranger [Reuben] Mankin. He lied to Officer Babcock.”
A neighbor of Leger’s told police he heard two “bang” noises in 2013 and testified Thursday that the sounds were gunshots. They were heard after lunch, when TollTag and shopping records show Adams was not in the area.
“They know his whereabouts were accounted for at the time those gunshots were heard,” Miears said. “But it didn’t fit their theory.”
Investigators wrote off the noises to construction or possibly dove season. They were never described to police at the time as gunshots, Anfosso said.
“The guy’s four houses away,” he said, referring to the neighbor. “This is a .22, probably with a suppressor on it. You’re not going to hear that. No way.”