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Studio City Man Charged in Grandfather’s ’83 Murder

Times Staff Writers

A Studio City man will appear in court Thursday on charges that he murdered his grandfather five years ago, authorities said Monday.

Noel P. Scott, 27, was charged with Oct. 16, 1983, murder of Louis Fox, 70, of Studio City after Los Angeles police reopened their investigation based on information from a former friend who said Scott admitted he was responsible.

Scott, who has pleaded not guilty, is free on $50,000 bail and lives in the house where his grandfather was killed, officials said. A date for Scott’s preliminary hearing is to be scheduled during his court appearance Thursday.

Fox was beaten and shot to death during a robbery at the home in the 12700 block of Milbank Street. Police said Scott was a suspect from the start but detectives did not have enough evidence for an arrest.

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Based on statements from a burglary suspect who had once been Scott’s friend, detectives reopened the case in October, 1988, and arrested Scott in November.

The suspect, Charles Berkowitz, 26, said Scott told him two days after the killing that he was responsible, police said. The investigation also turned up other new evidence, said Detective Mike Coffee, who declined to elaborate.

Berkowitz was interviewed by police shortly after Fox’s murder. Berkowitz told investigators he knew Scott hated his grandfather because he was cheap and had changed his mind about a promise to pay for Scott’s college education, police reports said.

Berkowitz also said Scott told him before the murder that he would like to burglarize his grandfather’s house and that the older man had $20,000 worth of jewelry.

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Berkowitz did not tell police of the alleged confession until he contacted homicide detectives in October, 1988, after his arrest for a residential burglary. Berkowitz informed police that Scott told him about the murder two days after it occurred.

Berkowitz told police that Scott said, “I ripped off my grandfather and had a little problem.”

Authorities said it was unclear why Berkowitz told police about the alleged confession. They said he received no deal or favorable treatment in exchange for his statements. He pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted burglary in January and was sentenced to three years in state prison.

According to police reports, Scott became a suspect because of his manner during questioning, along with other evidence and witnesses’ statements. Fox owned an attack dog that was unharmed during the killing, leading investigators to believe that the killer was someone the dog was familiar with, according to the reports.

During the robbery and murder, Fox’s jewelry was stolen from a hiding place in a drawer but there was no evidence the room had been searched, indicating that the killer already knew where the jewelry was kept.


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