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Party shooting suspect surrenders

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Police chief Tommy Dawson holds up a photo of murder suspect Desmonte Leonard in Montgomery, Alabama (AP)

Police chief Tommy Dawson holds up a photo of murder suspect Desmonte Leonard in Montgomery, Alabama (AP)

Police chief Tommy Dawson holds up a photo of murder suspect Desmonte Leonard in Montgomery, Alabama (AP)

A man accused of killing three people at a party near a US university has turned himself in after a three-day manhunt that included a tense but fruitless search of a home by police tactical units.

Defence lawyer Susan James said that her office had arranged for Desmonte Leonard to turn himself in at a Montgomery, Alabama courthouse after getting word that his family wanted her help.

She said she contacted US Marshals and then she and her son, who works for her as an investigator, picked up Leonard. She would not say where except that it was about 50 miles from Montgomery. They then drove him to meet investigators.

"He was very calm, very tired and very ready to get this over with and very respectful," she said.

She said they had time to talk while driving to Montgomery: "When the full story is told, it may sound different than the perception now."

Leonard, 22, is charged with three counts of capital murder in a shooting after a fight over a woman. He is accused of wounding three others.

The dead included two former Auburn college American football players, and a current player was among the injured.

Two men already have been charged with misleading authorities during their search for Leonard, and police chief Kevin Murphy said the man who allegedly ferried Leonard to the home could be arrested on similar charges.

Police surrounded a house in Montgomery on Monday thinking the suspect was inside after they received two solid tips.

They swarmed the home with tear gas, spy gear and assault rifles, but after a tense, nine-hour search, they discovered Leonard had fled by the time they arrived.

PA