When is the case going to court that involved the ex-police officer Ray Leach?
— Cathy B., Medford,via email
The case determining the fate of the Medford woman who killed former Medford police officer Ray Leach was resolved through a plea bargain last year, Cathy. Mail Tribune archives show Charlene Leuzetia Meixner is serving 10 years in prison after accepting a manslaughter plea agreement in Jackson County Circuit Court, according to our story that ran Sept. 13, 2011.
Meixner, 46, was facing a murder charge and three lesser manslaughter charges for allegedly shooting Leach, 61, once in the chest on the evening of Oct. 20, 2010. She pleaded no contest to a Measure 11 charge of first-degree manslaughter.
The murder charge and two of the manslaughter charges were dismissed per the plea negotiations. Meixner also was sentenced to three years' post-prison supervision.
Calling the plea agreement "a just resolution," Jackson County Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe laid out before Judge Lorenzo Mejia the troubled and abusive relationship Meixner had with Leach.
David Orf, Meixner's defense attorney, said his client was accepting the manslaughter plea agreement because, based on the evidence that would have been presented at trial, the prosecution may have been able to prove the murder charge. Meixner understood that her plea of no contest would incur the same Measure 11 penalty as a guilty plea, Orf said.
In August 2010, just weeks before the killing, police were called to Leach's home for a domestic dispute during which a .38-caliber handgun — the same gun Meixner allegedly used to shoot Leach — was taken from Meixner. The gun was returned to her eight days later.
Leach's tenure with Medford police ended abruptly in 2002 after he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for driving under the influence of intoxicants when he smashed his car into a parked Medford police cruiser. It was Leach's second drunken-driving conviction in two years. He resigned from the force.
At the sentencing hearing, Meixner stopped short of saying she had shot Leach. But she said her last minutes with Leach "were horrible."
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