Jason Thomas Scott convicted on federal counts; to be tried in Pr. George’s double murder

July 18, 2011

Jason Thomas Scott, who is charged in Prince George’s County in a grisly double homicide and who is suspected in other killings, was convicted Monday in federal court in Greenbelt on charges of committing a series of armed home invasions, molesting a teenage girl, stealing and selling firearms and other crimes.

After deliberating for about eight hours over two days, the jury of 11 men and one woman convicted Scott of each of the 11 offenses he was charged with.

Scott, 28, did not outwardly react as the verdict was read.

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, who helped prosecute Scott and delivered the government’s closing argument, said Scott faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 97 years in prison for the firearms and sexual molestation convictions.

“He’s a very dangerous man,” Rosenstein said after the verdict was announced. “Prince George’s County is much safer now that he’s off the streets. He became more brazen over time, going from burglaries to armed home invasions.”

Scott’s defense attorney, Kobie Flowers, declined to comment.

U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte scheduled sentencing for Oct. 31.

During a three-week trial, Rosenstein and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy D. Belf presented a raft of circumstantial evidence showing that Scott committed a series of violent crimes in 2008 and the first half of 2009. Most of them occurred in the Largo neighborhood where Scott lived at his mother’s home.

Victims of four home invasions testified for the government, but were unable to identify Scott. The attacker or attackers wore black masks which covered everything but their eyes, the victims testified.

But two accomplices testified that they had committed armed home invasions with Scott, and that he had planned the crimes and gave the orders.

One of the co-conspirators, Marcus D. Hunter, 25, testified that Scott was methodical in choosing which homes to attack and in covering his tracks.

Scott, who worked as a clerk at a UPS facility in Largo, used a computer there to scout target homes, Hunter testified. He looked for homes whose owners owned small businesses, according to court testimony.

In executing the home invasions, Scott wore gloves and a handgun in a belt holster, and carried a police scanner to listen for signs that officers were nearby, Hunter testified.

Scott was also methodical about not leaving evidence, going so far as to mop the floor of one victims’s home so that no shoe prints were left behind, according to court testimony.

Hunter testified that he and Scott burglarized a Carroll County gun shop in May 2009 and tried to sell some of the dozens of handguns, shotguns, rifles and Uzi-style assault weapons they took, Hunter said.

But their buyer turned out to be an informant, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched an investigation.

Hunter has pleaded guilty to two firearms offenses and testified for the government under a plea deal in which he hopes to gain leniency at sentencing.

Flowers said in his opening and closing arguments that the testimony of Hunter and another accomplice was not credible.

But Scott provided some of the government’s best evidence — a series of confessions he made during three meetings with ATF agents. He provided a typed list of addresses of 28 homes he had burglarized and nine he had invaded; investigators learned that each home had been hit, Rosenstein said.

Flowers said in his opening and closing arguments that Scott “exaggerated” his criminality because he was struggling with his identity as a gay man.

In addition to the federal conviction, Scott is scheduled to be tried for murder in Circuit Court for Prince George’s in November in the killings of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her daughter Ebony, 20. Their burning bodies were found inside a stolen car that had been set on fire in Largo on March 16, 2009.

According to police, Scott is also a “person of interest” in the Jan. 16, 2009, slayings of Karen Lofton, 45, and her daughter Karissa, 16. They were shot inside their locked Largo home. Police have said that Scott is also being investigated for a 2008 killing in which a woman in Bowie was shot in her home, which was then set on fire.

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