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Man indicted in 2 Pr. George's killings; ATF, police raids led to break in case

Jason Scott read up on how evidence is collected so he could cover his trail, sources say.
Jason Scott read up on how evidence is collected so he could cover his trail, sources say. (Prince George's State's Attorney's Office)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Police barely knew that Jason Thomas Scott existed before the bodies of two of his alleged victims turned up in a burning car in Prince George's County last year. The suspected serial killer was living quietly with his parents and sister in a modest suburban colonial in Largo, and public records show just one breach of the law: a speeding ticket.

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But soon after the slayings, he was suspected in a weapons case. That allowed police to raid his home and pull back the layers of his life, revealing a rapid escalation from burglary to home invasions, and eventually the killings, court records say.

On Tuesday, a Prince George's grand jury charged Scott, 27, with two counts of murder and other crimes in the deaths of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 20-year-old daughter Ebony. Their bodies were found March 16, 2009, in a burning car in Largo that had been stolen that day.

Police have said that Scott is a person of interest in the killings of another mother-daughter pair from Largo: Karen Lofton, 45, and her 16-year-old daughter, Karissa, who were found shot in their locked home Jan. 26, 2009. Lofton and Dewitt were nurses. Detectives also are looking into whether Scott might be responsible for a 2008 killing in which a Bowie woman was shot before her home was set ablaze and for other crimes as far away as Texas and Florida, police officials said.

So far, Scott is charged only in the Dewitt slayings. "Clearly, this was a gruesome double murder that really shocked the community," said Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn Ivey. "I hope that this indictment will help bring some sense of calm to the community."

Ivey declined to say whether Scott would face charges in any other killings, citing ethics rules that prohibit him from talking about ongoing investigations.

But Prince George's Police Chief Roberto Hylton did not back away from his characterization of Scott as a ruthless and deceptive serial killer.

"This person was just a natural, hard-core criminal that just preyed on this community," Hylton said after the indictment.

Hylton said investigators had been contacted by "a number of other police departments" wondering whether Scott might be responsible for more killings. He declined to name those departments, noting that investigators had to "compare notes" to see whether the cases are connected. He said his own investigators think that Scott might be responsible for "one or two" more slayings in Prince George's as well.

In almost every way possible, law enforcement officials say, Scott was the worst kind of criminal. Besides living under their radar, he was computer savvy, receiving a bachelor's degree in information systems management from the University of Maryland University College and using his access to a database at UPS, where he worked for nine years, to track his victims, law enforcement sources say. He also was crafty, reading up on evidence collection so he could learn how to clean his crime scenes, the sources say.

And he was depraved, they said, targeting complete strangers.

Peeping accusation

Kobie Flowers, Scott's attorney on previously existing charges, declined to comment. No one returned a phone message or responded to multiple handwritten notes seeking comment that were left at Scott's family home.

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