Arrest in murder of Philadelphia guidance counselor Veno Leigertwood

Pictured: Eddie Tate (left) and Veno Leigertwood (right)

January 27, 2012 2:06:27 PM PST
An arrest has been made in the 2008 murder of a Philadelphia School District guidance counselor.

22-year-old Eddie Poindexter Tate of Philadelphia has been charged in connection with the killing of 31-year-old Veno Leigertwood outside his home on Church Lane in Yeadon, Pa.

Tate was apparently not the gunman, but was charged with 2nd and 3rd degree murder for his role in the crime.

Leigertwood was getting ready to go to his graduate school class in Center City on the morning of September 13th, 2008 when he was shot in the back of the neck.

Police say they interviewed Tate while he was already in Graterford Prison on unrelated charges.

According to an affidavit released by police, Tate allegedly told police he was driving a car with two other men, looking for someone to rob.

When the three men pulled up outside Leigertwood's home, Tate is quoted in the interview as saying his two accomplices got out of the car and confronted Leigertwood.

Leigertwood was someone the three did not know, according to the affidavit.

Tate told police one of his accomplices pulled a gun on Leigertwood, who then punched him in the face. As he fell to the ground the accomplice fired, striking Leigertwood, Tate allegedly told police.

The gunman then stole Leigertwood's cell phone, Tate told police.

Both accomplices are also in custody on unrelated charges.

Liegertwood worked for the state's "Gear Up" program, which helps students with academics and college enrollment; he was also a real estate investor.

Leigertwood left behind his wife, Raven, and a young daughter.

Yeadon Mayor Dolores Jones-Butler, who has followed the case and knew the victim, agrees - on the surface - the arrest makes the killing appear to be a random act, not a murder-for-hire as once theorized. However, she said:

"I have to go along with police that was the theory, this is what it appears, but investigation still going on," Jones-Butler said. "We know there was more than one culprit in this."

Raven Leigertwood issued a statement on Friday saying she had been victimized by "certain entities.".

She went on to say "I'm grateful and thankful to those who never wavered from fighting for the truth in spite of rumors and lies. My family continues to strive for all of the facts and for the conviction of all individuals involved."