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Man recounts 20-day 'nightmare' after double murder charges dropped

Crime, Law and JusticeHomicideCrimeJustice System

For Justin Marquis Scott, the last 20 days have been a nightmare.

He had been charged with capital murder in the Oct. 8 double homicide of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend's grandmother, and the attempted murder of her boyfriend.

He spent his days weeping in a jail cell and waking from nightmares.

HOMICIDE REPORT: Chronicling Los Angeles County homicides

But on Tuesday, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge approved a motion by prosecutors to dismiss murder charges against the 19-year-old Compton man, based off surveillance footage that showed Scott at two shopping centers in Compton on the day of the shootings.

On Wednesday afternoon, he talked about the 20-day ordeal.

"I didn't do it," Scott said. "And I wouldn't be here right now if I did."

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victor Wright dismissed the case before 5 p.m. Tuesday, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

“Based upon newly discovered evidence, prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the charged crimes,” Robison said. 

Prosecutors had accused Scott of confronting his ex-girlfriend, Crystallyn Nguyen, 18, and Nguyen’s boyfriend’s grandmother, Dora Dawson, 64.

Prosecutors alleged Scott shot Nguyen and then Dawson as Dawson tried to protect her 22-year-old grandson, who was wounded. 

Scott's lawyer, Juliette Robinson, said it was the first time in her 25-year career that she had a video surveillance timeline for a client, but the case is still troubling for all parties.

"There are no winners here," she said.

Scott said that from the beginning, he had an alibi.

"I repeatedly told them where I was, every step I was that whole day."

Inglewood Police Lt. Gabriela Garcia said charges were based off information the investigators had at the time.

She said that evidence was not primarily based on eyewitness testimony, but declined to comment further on what led investigators to charge Scott.

Garcia said the investigation remains active.

"As of this morning, we need to sit down and reevaluate everything," she said.

Scott said he has not fully processed the events of the last month. He still can't believe his ex-girlfriend is dead.

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Twitter: @nicolesantacruz

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

 

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