Schenectady man sentenced for murdering his stepfather


SCHENCTADY (WRGB) – Andrell Leppanen was sentenced in Schenectady County Court Monday, after being convicted of murdering his stepfather back in December.

Andrell Leppanen was given 25 years to life in prison. In August 2016, Leppanen doused his stepfather Kevin Hawkins in gasoline while he was sleeping, lit him on fire, and chased him out of the house trying to burn him more. Hawkins later died from his injuries.

Leppanen suffers from mental health issues and has previously been diagnosed with paranoia, delusions, and schizoaffective disorder. His issues were discussed in length during the trial.

Leppanen’s mother, who is also Hawkin’s wife, read a victim impact statement during the sentencing. She said Kevin Hawkins had a “heart of gold” and violence was not their way of solving problems in their house. She says she blames Andrell’s mental health issues. She said the mental health professionals have failed her son, and he shouldn’t be in a place that doesn’t address his diagnosis.

The prosecution said mental health can not be used as an excuse and they said he has a violent criminal history. They also said he has not shown remorse.

The judge ordered Leppanen to be put in a facility where he can't harm anyone, and they will monitor his mental health and medication use.

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