Jury selection to begin in Earl Scott murder trial

jdeleon@bradenton.comJanuary 27, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Jury selections will begin Monday morning in the murder trial against a man detectives say shot another man outside a gas station 19 months ago in Manatee County.

Earl Scott, 33, is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Ruben Harris III in the early morning hours of April 30, 2012.

Scott and Harris had been at Da Vinci's nightclub, 105 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, earlier in the night but they did not fight at the club, according to detectives. Later a witness reportedly saw Harris in his car at a Shell gas station at 836 U.S. 301 E. in Bradenton when Scott pulled up, blocked his vehicle, walked up to the car and shot him.

"He witnessed the victim attempt to run away but he was shot and he fell to the ground," the detective reported. "There were no words exchanged prior to the shooting. The defendant then got back in his vehicle and fled."

If convicted, Scott faces up to life in prison.

Two eyewitnesses are scheduled to testify, according to Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers.

"I know based on witness statement there were three in the store at the time. Two of them of them were not in the position to see anything and the other claims she didn't," Chambers said. "Both of the eyewitnesses recognized the defendant as the shooter."

One eyewitness is the store clerk who knew Scott as a regular customer, Chambers said. The second eyewitness is a patron who reportedly recognized him from seeing him around the neighborhood.

Scott's past arrests include charges of possession of cocaine, giving false information to law enforcement, possession of marijuana, aggravated assault with a firearm, sale or delivery of cocaine and domestic battery by strangulation.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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