Charges dropped against man accused of attacking landlord with machete

Alleged victim no longer wants to pursue case, police say

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Prosecutors have dropped charges against a Fort Lauderdale man accused of attacking his landlord with a machete.

The detective assigned to the case said the victim decided not to pursue the charges because he is elderly and moving out of state. The victim, Maurice Blanchar, 89, did not want to travel back and forth to Fort Lauderdale for future court proceedings, the detective said. Police said they do not have any other suspects and the case is now closed. 

Blanchar told police that his tenant, Jimmie Lee Leeks, 48, had attacked him Wednesday after the two argued about unpaid rent. Blanchar said he held off the machete attack with his cane.

Blanchar, who says he is a World War II veteran, was not hospitalized for his injuries. He had a jacket with a bloody stain as evidence of the attack, but police officers did not take it as evidence. 

However, Leeks said the incident never happened. He told Local 10 News that early last week strangers had threatened him to leave the efficiency that he was renting from Blanchar. He reported the threats to police. Shortly after he filed the report, officers arrived at his home about the machete attack.

Blanchar spoke to Local 10 News about the incident Thursday, but he has declined comment since Leeks has challenged his account.

Leeks initially faced charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery on a person 65 years of age or older.

Leeks was released from prison in 2013 and has a criminal history that includes cocaine possession in 1989 and eluding police in 2010. Broward County court records show Blanchar has had a series of removal-of-tenant disputes from 1991 to 2011.

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