MSSU athlete wins scholarship funded by death row inmates

Colby Leeper's father was murdered when he was 10.

Colby Leeper's mother scanned the internet, looking for scholarships for her son. College is expensive, Hillery Schrag said, and any money would help.

She said she was looking at scholarships in which the recipient had lost a parent, when she stumbled upon a curious one. Compassion, a nonprofit organization run by death row inmates, was offering college scholarships to family members of murder victims. The inmates, who raised the money through donations and selling their art, chooses the awardees after reviewing essays the applicants submit.

Leeper, of Wichita, Kansas, applied and won an award of $1,500, which he's putting toward his freshman year at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

On a night in November 2008, Edward "Brian" Leeper Jr., 33, had been staying in a second-story room at the Stratford House Inn, according to The Wichita Eagle. He came out onto the balcony and then walked down to the parking lot at about 11:30 p.m., which is when a car pulled up. A witness heard five shots ring out.