Police: Jail recordings reveal Henrico murder conspiracy

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – New details are emerging about what police describe as a sinister murder plot intended to generate bond money for a young couple in Henrico.

Nicole L. Simmons, 24, and Leo J. Gallant IV, 25, face charges of conspiracy to commit capital murder.

At a preliminary hearing Thursday in Henrico General District Court, a police investigator read pages of conversation in which the couple is accused of plotting to kill Gallant's parents, the very people who later said they still love their son.

It was the fall of 2010. Leo Gallant IV was in jail. His girlfriend, Nicole Simmons had just bonded out. It was up to her, police say, to find enough money to bond him out as well. So they had hours of phone conversations at the Henrico jail that police say focused on "doing away" with Gallant's Mom and Dad, and stealing their credit card to pay Gallant's bond.

The killings were to be carried out with a baseball bat, hatchet, or another small, blunt object, according to a police investigator's testimony.

The investigator later read a lengthy transcript of phone conversations between Gallant and Simmons.

"Baby girl, that's the only way we'll be together," Gallant is quoted as saying in one of the calls. Simmons was later quoted as saying, "I wish there was a way I could set them [Gallant's parents] on fire."

Sabine Gallant, is Leo's mother.

"I know we might not even be here to talk about it if everything was carried through the way it was supposed  to, but God made sure that we were here," she said following the hearing.

Police say, Simmons watched the horror movie, "Saw II" and told Gallant, "Seeing that movie last night really made me want to do it." According to the investigator, Gallant responded, "We're gonna be wanted after this."

Assuming the murders would be carried out, authorities say the two intended to run off to Canada. But police broke up the alleged plot before anyone got hurt.

Gallant's father had this to say, to his son.

"I love you. And I'm here for you. That's what a parent does," said Leo Gallant III through tears.

Testimony further revealed the young couple led troubled lives, often sleeping in a shed, or on somebody's front lawn. Gallant's parents suggested Leo may not have been totally sane during those calls, suffering the effects of heroin withdrawal.

"I'm not happy with the choices he's made, but I mean, I'm still on his side and I still love him," Sabine said.

Testimony also revealed that Simmons expressed doubts as to whether she could carry out two brutal murders, and Gallant told police the conversations were like "jokes" to him.

However, the judge did not agree. The case against Gallant and Simmons was certified to a grand jury, which clears the way for a possible trial to be set later this year.

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