Bradford County jury hands down death sentence

Leo Boatman
Courtesy of FDOC Leo Boatman

A Pinellas County man serving a life sentence received the death penalty on Tuesday for killing a prison inmate in 2019.

According to a State Attorney’s Office press release, a Bradford County jury found Leo Lancing Boatman guilty of first degree murder and possession of a weapon by a state prisoner after he killed William Chapman on July 5, 2019.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) arrested Boatman and William Edwards Wells III after an investigation determined the two were responsible for Chapman’s death.

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William Wells
Courtesy of FDOC William Wells

At the time of the murder, Boatman was serving a life sentence for killing two Santa Fe College students in the Ocala National Forest in 2006. Boatman received an additional 7-year sentence for the attempted murder of a prison inmate in Dixie County in 2010 and another 15-year sentence for third degree murder in Charlotte County in 2013.   

Wells was sentenced to life in the FDOC.

Assistant State Attorney Luis Bustamante and Assistant State Attorney Bruce Helling led the prosecution team in State vs. Leo Lancing Boatman and Judge James M. Colaw presided over the judicial proceeding.

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