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Scott murder trial begins

by: Darryl Swan, Jenny Cooke, Scott Nolan Scott’s defense attorney, shares a last-minute talk with  Scott prior to the start of the murder trial on Tuesday morning. A noticeably heavier Scott sat solemnly with his head angled down throughout much of the proceedings.

Both the defense and the prosecution in the murder trial of Scott Nolan Scott agree on one thing: Scott pulled the trigger on the rifle that fired a shot through Ronald Overstreet in March 2006, ultimately killing him.

But that's where the agreement ends.

Scott's defense attorney, Jenny Cooke, is seeking a lighter sentence for Scott than the state's pursuit of a murder conviction.

Cooke argued Tuesday morning in her opening statement to the 15-member jury and alternates that Scott suffered an 'extreme emotional disturbance' leading up to his shooting of Overstreet.

'It is only by hearing the backstory that you will understand the events of March 6,' Cooke said, referencing the shooting date.

That disturbance, Cooke said, was fueled by Scott's unrequitted love for a woman, Sabrina Lloyd, one of three former loves in Scott's life who ended up with Overstreet, not Scott.

It is a disturbance rooted in parental abuse against Scott, 28, when he was a boy, including having a mother who blew marijuana smoke in his face while an infant, Cooke said. He had suicidal tendencies, she said, acting out on those tendencies on several occasions, though in the end few took Scott seriously. At times, his friends laughed at him and made him the butt of the joke.

Cooke outlined a tale of a methamphetmine drug subculture and sexual partner swapping, with a cast of characters who were all-too-comfortable with jail time.

On March 6, after hitch-hiking to Ronald Overstreet's grandmother's house, where a methamphetamine party was brewing, Scott shot Overstreet shortly after 2 a..m. with a rifle believed to have been taken from his father's house.

Police later arrested Scott at a friend's home in Scappoose.

'The state will argue to you that is not manslaughter,' said Columbia County District Attorney Stephen Atchison. 'We're not here to prove to you who did it. We're here to prove to you that it happened.'

The trial is scheduled to take place over the next two weeks. Following the opening arguments, the jury toured the home of Overstreet's grandmother's house off of Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens were the shooting occurred.