The man charged in the 2009 slayings of a mother and daughter in Largo was sentenced to a century in prison Tuesday in a separate, federal case in which he was convicted of orchestrating home invasion robberies, molesting a teenage girl and burglarizing a Maryland gun shop.
Jason Thomas Scott, 28, who was found guilty in July of home invasion, weapons and sex-related charges, did not appear to react as District Judge Peter J. Messitte effectively ordered him locked up for the rest of his life. Asked if he wanted to say anything, Scott said only, “On the advice of my counsel, I don’t want to make a statement at this time.”
Messitte had significantly more to say. As he delivered the sentence — three years above the mandatory minimum for the crimes — the judge called Scott a “bad man” who showed “no indication that you would ever rehabilitate, at least not in this life.”
“You were not just a one-man crime wave, you were a tsunami of crime,” Messitte said.
Separate from the federal case, Scott is charged in the slayings of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her daughter Ebony, 20, whose bodies were found inside a stolen car that had been set on fire in a Largo driveway on March 16, 2009. His trial in the slayings is scheduled for October. Scott is also a suspect in the Jan. 16, 2009, slayings of Karen Lofton, 45, and her daughter, Karissa, 16, in Largo, and in the June 2008 killing of 46-year-old Vilma Butler in Bowie, police said.
But the home invasion robberies, authorities say, are where Scott perfected his criminal craft.
His operation was as sinister as it was professional, authorities said. He cut phone lines and listened to a police scanner. He generally picked homes of people he thought were wealthy and vulnerable. He told investigators that he was inspired by the movie “Bullet,” starring Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur.
In a meeting with authorities, Scott admitted to burglarizing at least 28 homes and invading nine while residents were there, court records show. He also admitted to molesting a 17-year-old girl during one home invasion and burglarizing a Woodbine, Md., gun shop, so he could sell the weapons.
The burglary of the gun shop first put federal investigators on Scott’s tail as a suspect in the slayings. Before that, police barely knew he existed. He was living quietly in a modest suburban colonial in Largo, and public records show just one breach of the law: a speeding ticket.
But soon after the slayings, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents caught him trying to sell weapons from the gun shop burglary to an informant. That allowed police to raid his home and pull back the layers of his life, revealing what authorities allege was a rapid escalation from burglary to home invasion to murder.
In court Tuesday, Scott wore an orange jail jump-suit. He had grown a patchy beard and had lost significant weight. When he spoke, he did so in a soft voice.
Kobie Flowers, Scott’s attorney, said his client is gay and exaggerated his criminal behavior to investigators because he was struggling with his personal identity.
Scott’s family members declined to comment. In letters written to the judge, they said Scott was ambitious and cared about others. He worked at UPS and had or was pursuing more than one college degree, according to the letters.
“I know Jason was convicted of some serious crimes, but I still love him unconditionally. . . . I believe he possesses the ability and will to learn from this ordeal and work to better himself,” his mother, Barbara Scott, wrote.