Murder charges dropped against Compton man in double homicide
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Tuesday approved a motion by prosecutors to dismiss murder charges against a 19-year-old Compton man.
Justin Marquis Scott had been charged with capital murder in the Oct. 8 double homicide of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend’s grandmother, as well as the attempted murder of her boyfriend.
Scott had faced a sentence of life in prison without parole or possibly the death penalty if he had been convicted of all charges.
Scott’s lawyer, Juliette Robinson, said surveillance videos show her client at two shopping centers in Compton on the day of the shootings.
“Based upon newly discovered evidence, prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the charged crimes,” said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victor Wright dismissed the case before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Robison said.
Prosecutors alleged that Scott shot Nguyen and then Dawson as Dawson tried to protect her 22-year-old grandson, who was wounded.
Nguyen and Dawson were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Nguyen’s boyfriend, who was not identified, was wounded.
Scott was arrested by authorities and charged by prosecutors Oct. 11.
But Robinson said her client had an alibi on the day of the shootings. She said surveillance footage from her client’s home and at least three businesses at two shopping centers in Compton tracked Scott’s whereabouts.
The shopping centers are near Central Avenue and Alondra Boulevard, eight miles from the shootings.
“I was shocked, just shocked,” Robinson said.
She said the first video she obtained Oct. 14 from the Smoke 4 Less shows footage of her client standing inside the store.
“It’s clear as day,” Robinson said.
She said she shared a copy of the video with prosecutors and told them about other videos from a CVS store and a Chinese restaurant that showed her client.
She said prosecutors looked over at least two of the videos.
“If it wasn’t for the videotapes, we believed this man would have been on death row,” said Najee Ali, an activist and supporter of the family.
Robinson said her client’s family has mixed emotions about the dismissal of the charges.
“The family is excited that he is being released, but there’s no winners here,” Robinson said. “They loved this girl; they were not allowed to grieve for her death, they were not allowed to go to her funeral.”
Robinson said family members hope Inglewood police will continue to search for the killer.
Scott remained in custody because of a traffic warrant in Long Beach, and it wasn’t clear when he would be released, Robinson said.
[For the Record, 1:47 p.m., PDT, Oct. 30: A previous version of this post misspelled Jane Robison’s last name on first reference as Robinson.]
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