That was June 19, 2011. Spencer, 22, is now on trial in the Scarborough killing. Wearing a bright red vest, red tie and black shirt and pants, Spencer testified about his life, his mother and the night of Scarborough’s death over about six hours Thursday in the courtroom of D.C. Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Motley.
His testimony is expected to continue Monday. Neither Spencer nor his attorney, James Rudasill, denies that Spencer killed Scarborough, 61. Rudasill said his client “snapped” when he arrived at Scarborough’s home.
Spencer told the jury he went into a rage, his mind recalling a decade of visits from his mother, her eyes black and swollen, her arms bruised and her chest and legs burned in a fire. He also related stories of how Scarborough hooked Sharon Spencer, 43, on crack cocaine, and how he raped her during her six-month battle with cancer, leaving her with a sexually transmitted disease that aggravated her illness.
Many of those recollections were challenged in the courtroom last week, with authorities probing Reggie Spencer’s impressions of his mother’s life and relationship with Scarborough and himself. And prosecutors’ version of the situation differs from his on a major point: They say Spencer went to the apartment determined to kill Scarborough and punish the man for his role in his mother’s rough life.
“Mr. Spencer had a hate and a disgust for Glenn Scarborough and blamed Glenn for the lifestyle his mother was living,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Bradford during her opening statements last week, her voice quivering at times. “They beat, duct-taped him and gagged him, leaving Mr. Scarborough in a pool of his blood.”
Spencer is charged with more than a dozen offenses, including first-degree murder while armed. Phillip Swan, 21, and Terrell Wilson, 20, Spencer’s friends from Virginia, helped bind and gag Scarborough, according to prosecutors, and have been charged with first-degree murder, burglary and other offenses.
Swan’s and Wilson’s attorneys also say that their clients did not plan to kill Scarborough, but instead only wanted to help their friend protect his mother from an abusive boyfriend.
When Reggie Spencer was 6, he moved with his three younger sisters from his mother’s District home to her parents’ in Orange County, Va., about 90 minutes south. He grew up calling his grandparents “Mom and Dad,” according to testimony, and he frequently referred to his mother as “Sharon” on Thursday.