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I-Team: Family seeking justice 2 years after Chandler woman murdered

More than two years after the Chandler woman was murdered, her family is still seeking justice.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — It's a tragedy on multiple levels.

More than two years after Amy Leagans was murdered, her family is still seeking justice. Investigators accuse her roommate, Timothy Sullivan, of killing her. Another accusation in a long list of crimes.

The case raises questions about how someone with a record could be accused of domestic violence again and again. 

Landscapers first found part of Leagan’s body in November 2020 after she disappeared at the end of October.

Days later, Sullivan was arrested and charged with her murder and hiding her body around the Valley.

"This makes me sick to my stomach," said Kimberly Houston. "I feel so bad for her family."

Houston said she’s been on the other end of Sullivan’s violence before.

"And all my Indian pottery was broken," she remembered. "I ran up the stairs, and that’s when he jumped out of the bed and threw me against the wall."

She told 12News she and Sullivan were dating in March 2009 when he beat her up one night, and a neighbor had to call for help. Police documented the injuries to her arm and face, and Sullivan was charged with assault.

"I think that he slipped through the cracks," Houston shared. "He’s a smooth talker. And I think he talked his way out of a lot of stuff."

At that point, records show Sullivan already racked up a lengthy criminal record, including two other pending criminal cases in Arizona and other prior charges out of state.

In Houston's case, Sullivan took a plea deal, the assault charge was dropped, and Sullivan went to prison, according to the records.

But it didn’t stop there.

In 2014, Sullivan was charged with assault again after beating and choking a roommate in Phoenix. He took another plea deal in this case, ultimately pleading guilty to two aggravated assault charges. He went back to prison, and records show he had another interaction with police in July 2020.

On July 11, 2020, Leagans called 911 for help after saying her roommate Timothy Sullivan tried to hurt her.

At the time, Sullivan told Chandler police he had a history of assault and records show he was on probation for the 2014 assault. Ultimately, the case was closed. A few months later, Leagans was murdered.

"I think something’s got to change," Houston said. "He’s gotten off way too easy so that he did it over and over again."

Even more, than a decade later, it’s hard for Houston to think about the details of her assault case.

"I can’t believe that was part of my life," she shared.

Kimberly spent two years piecing together her pottery; she said Sullivan broke in the fight.

"Each little piece was a mending process," she said. "This is a symbol of my healing by doing this."

Leagans family can’t pick up the pieces yet.

Despite records showing he confessed to killing Leagans after his arrest, Sullivan pleaded not guilty to murder and hiding her body.

The trial has already been delayed. The updated schedule shows the new trial should start January 17, 2023, but it's likely it will be pushed again.

Sullivan's attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

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