A murder suspect awaiting trial in a March slaying in Prince George’s County was mistakenly released from jail earlier this month, and police are now seeking help from the public as they search for him.
Frederick Lawrence Scott, 24, of Chillum, Md., was arrested on May 5 in connection with the shooting death of Phillip Watson, 30, of Southeast D.C., according to Prince George’s County police. Scott had been held in the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections before a clerical error at the courthouse led to his being given bond on Nov. 10, police said Sunday.
Scott, police said, posted bond and left. Officials said he was released for more than a week before authorities noticed the error, on Nov. 18. The court then issued a bench warrant for his arrest, and he has not yet been found.
It was unclear on Sunday what exactly the error was or who was responsible for it, and it also was unclear why it took so long for authorities to notice Scott, a murder suspect, had been released. The Prince George’s County Courthouse was closed Sunday, and court officials could not be reached for comment.
Thomas C. Mooney, who was listed in court records as Scott’s defense attorney in the case, did not return messages Sunday.
Watson was shot at about 1 a.m. on March 4, after a fight at the Surf Club on Kenilworth Avenue in Edmonston spilled outside, authorities said. Watson, who was shot several times, died hours later at a local hospital.
Scott was arrested in Las Vegas two months after the shooting, and he was extradited to Prince George’s County, where he was to be held without bond, police said.
Authorities have yet to determine a motive in the killing, according to Cpl. Henry Tippett, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Police are actively searching for Scott and any information about where he might be. Scott is described as a black male, 5’8” tall and weighing approximately 155 pounds, according to authorities.
Police urge anyone with information about the case or Scott’s whereabouts to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at (301) 772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477).