Manatee jury convicts Scott of second-degree murder

jdeleon@bradenton.comJanuary 29, 2014 

MANATEE — Earl Scott was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury in a Manatee County courtroom Wednesday evening.

Scott was convicted for the slaying of Ruben Harris III. Harris was shot to death in the early morning hours of April 30, 2012, outside a Shell gas station on 836 U.S. 301 E. in Bradenton after both men had been seen at Da Vinci’s nightclub.

Scott was also found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He now faces a sentence ranging up to a maximum of life in prison under Florida statue.

“The defense didn’t have much cross examination,” Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers said. “Their defense was that defendant didn’t do it.”

Testimony took less time than anticipated. The trial began with jury selections Monday with the rest of the week set aside for the trial.

Scott did not take the stand in his own defense. Two eyewitnesses, the Shell gas station clerk and a patron at the time, testified for the prosecution. The eyewitnesses identified Scott as the shooter.

The jury of six deliberated for a little more than an hour before rendering the verdict. Just before their decision the jury asked to see video footage of the store clerk in the Shell gas station witnessing and reacting to Harris being shot.

A sentencing hearing is expected to be set sometime in late February, Chambers said. 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.

Scott is in custody at the Manatee County Jail awaiting sentencing.

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