Scott gets 25 to life for murder
- Art Heerwagen
- South County Spotlight - News
Judge Steven Reed sentenced Scott Nolan Scott to life imprisonment with a minimum of 25 years during a sentencing hearing on his conviction for murder Tuesday afernoon.
Scott told family members of the victim that he was remorseful and took responsibility for the March 2006 shooting death of Ronald James Overstreet at the home of his grandmother in St. Helens.
'This was a very intense trial,' said Columbia County District Attorney Stephen Atchison, after the conclusion of the trial last Thursday.
By returning a guilty verdict, the jury rejected defense attorney Jenny Cooke's argument that Scott was under 'extreme emotional stress' at the time of the shooting. If the jury had agreed with her, Scott would have been found guilty of manslaughter with its accompanying lighter sentence instead of the life to 25-year minimum sentence required by murder.'
Atchison, who called 17 witnesses for the prosecution during the eight-day trial, said he felt it was difficult for the jury to accept the stress argument when it was revealed that Scott had walked nearly all the way to St. Helens from Scappoose at 2 a.m. in the morning with a loaded 308-caliber rifle in his possession that he had taken from his father's home.
'The defense also argued that Scott hadn't intentionally pulled the trigger, and that there was no evidence that he meant to kill Overstreet. Again, the jury disagreed,' said Atchison.
The two men had known each other since grade school, and an ongoing argument over former girlfriend Sabrina Lloyd, one of three former lovers who had ended up with Overstreet instead of Scott, is what investigators said fueled the shooting.
In September 2007, the trial was delayed when the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that some comments made by Scott were not admissible, and that his Miranda rights had been violated. In December of 2007, while housed at the Columbia County Jail, Scott and another inmate were charged with assaulting a fellow inmate.
Overstreet's mother Julie Haynes, who lives in Virginia, said in a phone conversation with the Spotlight that she felt the district attorney had done a good job. 'I'm happy,' she said. 'But, I wouldn't wish this on anybody, not even my worst enemy.' She added that she is still upset the night of the killing had been portrayed as a meth party, thereby casting her son in a bad light. She also said there wasn't enough done to help the victims make sure they knew and understood what was going on.
'I will attend every parole hearing and fight to make sure Scott never gets out of prison,' said Haynes.