Jeffrey Scott Trial Blog - Day 8 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Blog by Nick Kenney

Jeffrey Scott Trial Blog - Day 8

7:35PM - The Scott case is over...almost. All that remains is for Judge Lammey to sentence Jeffrey Scott on February 19th. Count on Action News 5 to be there for his sentencing hearing and bring you what happens then as well.

As for this blog, thank you for keeping up with the Scott case on wmctv.com. I hope it was informative. And that it kept you up to date in spite of the typos. 

Regards, Nick.

7:30PM - Word is the Ballin's have left the courthouse. Janice Broach is trying to track down some post-trial comments from the Ballin's. Catch Action News 5 at 10 for a full wrap up of the Jeffrey Scott trial and the very latest.

To recap... A jury convicted Jeffrey Scott of second degree murder for killing his wife Ashley on Thanksgiving Day 2006. He will be snetenced February 19th by Judge James Lammey. He faces somewhere between 15 and 25 years.

7:25PM - The hallways are beginning to clear out. Prosecutor Karen Cook seems pleased. Ashley Scott's family sasy it would have preferred a first degree murder conviction, but is happy with second, too. All along, they were going for either a first or second murder conviction.

7:20PM - Jeffrey Scott is in custody. When the verdict was read, the state requested that his bond be revoked. The judge granted the request. he says law requires bond be revoked on a second degree murder convicition. Sentencing will be on February 19th. Scott faces somewhere between 15 and 25 years in prison. One observation. When the the jury was brough back into the courtroom for the vverdict, one juror looked over at the defense and then at the prosecution. The juror appeared to mouth something at prosecutors. The juror got emotional, pulled out a kleenex, and wiped her eyes...

7:16PM - Ashley's family and friends remain on the fifth floor outside criminal court division 5. Many are still wiping away tears and sharing hugs. There is a lot of emotions flowing. Some still talking to the media. No sign of Leslie or Blake Ballin as media still await to speak with them for post-trial comment. Karen Cook shared a hug with Ashley's father.

7:12PM - Ashley's sister sayts Jeffrey should spend the rest of his life without a single freedom. She says she knows she is in heaven even though she left behind a lot of people aho are in a lot of pain. She hopes her life will continue to impact those still here and help them to seek out help and protect themselves. She says if this could happen to her sister then it could happen to anyone. Ashley's sister is fighting back tears addressing Ashley she says they will all be together again one day and she loves her very much.

7:08PM - Ashley's sister is talking to the media. She's thanking the prosecutors and the paramedics and the police officers for trying to help. She's thanking everyone for support in Memphis. She says ashley is as an angel who will be remembered for ever. She says her life was snuffed out far too soon. She deserved someone who appreciuated eerything about her. She says the evidence from defense shows the type of abuse Ashley suffered. She says Leslie Ballin lied during his closing. She says Ashley never sent any lude pictures. She says Ashley sent Jeffrey a text message that night and he sent her a text message later. Twice. She says the last message she sent to Michael Lowe was the day before. She is outraged that a legal professional can stadn in front of a jury and lie. Ashley's sister is telling this to the media. 12:07 pm she sent to Michael Lowe.

7:03PM - Karen Cook talking on one side outside the courtroom. Cook says she's excited Scott walked through those doors in custody. Pleased with the verdict. Acknowledges that this is a bizarre case, but domestc violence happens everywhere. AShley Scott's family and friends are sharing hugs and still fighting through sniffles. The hallways are crowded. Sounds as if they're happy he's been convicted and is in custody. Jeffrey Scott's sentencing range is between 15 and 25 years.

7:00PM - Court in recess and adjourned. Jeffrey Scott's family exits. Still plenty of sniffles from Ashley Scott's family behind me as they await their chance to leave. Prosecution appears pleased with the verdict. Gave Ashley's family a thumbs up. Within moments, teh courtroom is empty.

6:56PM - Each juror agrees that was their verdict. Jeffrey Scott shows no reaction. Sits as he has all week, Leslie Ballin discussing with him. Leslie on his right. Blake Ballin on his left. Ashley Scott's family sniffling behind me. Some tears. A few sobs they try to keep inaudible.

The judge thanks the jury. Dismisses them. They leave. Jeffrey Scott, teh defensem and the prosecution stands. Judge tells him he has been convicted of 2nd degree murder. Judge revokes bond by law. Scott is still standing. Sentencing in 30 days. Leslie Ballin talking to Scott. February 19th will be the sentencing. Bailiffs lead Scott out of the courtroom to the right.

6:53PM - Verdict: Soctt stands. Guilty of murder int eh second degree.

6:51PM - Bailiff tells judge we have a verdict. Judge asks for jury. Judge re-iterates that there will be no outbursts in the courtroom...for either side.

6:50PM - Bailiff addresses court. Tells them they are not allowed to react or make a peep when the judge reads the verdict. No emotions, they can step out if they feel like it, but no emotions inside the courtroom.

6:48PM - Anxious courtroom, as you might imagine. The Ballin's and Jeffrey Scott in, too.

6:42PM - Prosecution and Ashley Scott's family and friends now here. So is the judge. Still waiting on the defense side.

6:40PM - It will llikely be several minutes before we know what the verdict is. The families still must get back into the courtroom. Defense attorneys nor Jeffrey Scott is back.

6:38PM - Prosecutors back in the courtroom. There is a verdict...

6:35PM -  The bailiffs are beginning to fire up the metal detector. Two sources have told us that the jury is coming back and that there is a verdict.

6:23PM - 6 hours and 10 minutes of deliberations.

6:11PM - Still sitting in the hallway. Lots and lots of waiting around. Conversations have grown in volume. Range across a broad spectrum of topics. From the trial, to work, to the NFL playoffs from over the weekend. Otherwise, we're in it for the long haul.

5:57PM - Nothing new to update. Still sitting in the hallway. Once again, Andrew Douglas will provide a full wrap up of the day coming up in a few moments on Action News 5 at 6. If you don't have access, keep checking in with wmctv.com for the blog. Plus, his stories should appear on the website shortly.

5:45PM - Apparently the jury is hard at work. There is no timetable for how much longer this will take, but we're now moving past 5-and-a-half hours. The fact that the jury ordered dinner is a sign deliberations could continue awhile longer.

5:23PM - Our own Janice Broach is among those upstairs waiting. She reports  that the jury has ordered dinner and plans to keep working.

5:16PM - Five hours gone. Jury still out. Hallway crowded and anxious.

4:58PM - We're still sitting the hall. No one wants to wander too very far from the courtroom even though we'll likely get plenty of advanced warning that something might happen.

Regardless, you can catch full news coverage in just a moment. Andrew Douglas is about to be live on Action News 5 at 5 with a full wrap up of the day in court. If you don't have access to Action News 5 or you're keeping up in other cities like Shreveport or Minden, Louisiana, keep checking in here on wmctv.com. Updates as soon as something happens.

4:45PM - Still waiting. No new updates.

4:20PM - Still no update. The jury got the case at 12:13 this afternoon. It has been deliberating just more than four hours now.

4:05PM - Directly from the jury charge: "'Knowingly' means that a person acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the death of the alleged victim."

"'Intentionally' means that a person acts intentionally when it is the person's conscious objective or desire to cause the death of the alleged victim."

This is just a small part of the legal-ese the jury must sort through as it tries to make a decision. Apparently they are caught up on the difference between these two words

4:00PM - "Intentionally" appears under the legal definition for first degree murder. "Knowingly" appears under the legal definition for second degree murder.

3:45PM - I am not a legal expert, but I'll try to explain what happened to the best of my ability. The jury asked a question of the judge by writing on a piece of notebook paper. The question asked whether two words in the jury charge are interchangeable. the words in question are "knowingly" and "intentionally." One of them appears on page five and one of them appears on page seven of the 31-page jury charge that the judge read to the jury this morning. The judge told them to refer to the jury charge for the answer. Oftentimes in such situations, a judge will do just what Lammey just did. Judges typically do not want to offer detailed answers so as not to bias a jury or give it any kind of impression whatsoever.

3:37PM - Jury has question. Ballin wants the answer to be no. Prosecution wants him to refer the jury to the definitions of "intentional" and "knowingly" listed on page 14 of the jury charge.  Judge says he will write his answer on the piece of the paper with the question. He writes that these words are defined in the jury charge. And that they should refer to the jury charge for an answer.

3:35PM - Prosecutors ask the judge to review the jury back to the charge as well. Apparently the jury has asked whether the terms "intentionally" on page five (of the jury charge) and "knowingly" on page seven (of the jury charge) used interchangeably. The judge says, as to page 5 the answer is no. As to page 7 the answer is yes, he says. The prosecution asks him to refer the jury to the charge. Ballin says the answer is no on both pages.

3:30PM - The bailiff is showing both sides a piece of paper with the question written on it. The prosecutors and defense are reviewing the question. The judge has asked their opinion. Ballin asks the judge to refere them to the jury charge for their answer.

Court is in session. The judge asks for Jeffrey Scott in the courtroom.

3:24PM - Apparently the jury has a question. We'll find out what it is here shortly.

3:23PM - Leslie Ballin has made an appearance upstairs, but there is no indication that means anything just yet. My ear is to the ground. I'll keep you posted.

3:20PM - Writer's block. Nothing has changed. There is no update. The jury is still hard at work. Everyone else is anxious for it's verdict.

3:10PM - CORRECTION! CORRECTION! CORRECTION! Earlier in the 2:30 PM post, there is a typo so let me clear it up. Jeffrey Scott does NOT face the death penalty in this case. If convicted of first degree murder, he would automatically receive a sentence of life in prison. but he cannot be put to death. I have corrected the mistake down below. And right here, too. I apologize for the error.

3:05PM - More people are starting to show up on the sixth floor out front of Judge Lammey's courtroom. Some former students of Ashley Scott's are sittin gon the floor eating some snacks. Others have found chairs in which to sit and wait. Media members still just hanging out. And some Memphis Police Department homicide investigators are now here, too. The homicide unit worked the Ashley Scott case. Judging by the fact that some of the investigators are standing here waiting, they're apparently anxious to see how this case turns out.

2:45PM - Another note. Just an observation, part opinion. The bailiffs in charge of Judge Lammey's courtroom have been on top of their game all week. There's no disorder in this courtroom. I count at least five of them inside the courtroom. Another set of deputies is on guard outside the door to run the metal detector. They're a professional group that doesn't take anything lightly. The bailiffs want order. And they want to make court run smoothly. And it's been a job well done.

2:40PM - While we pass the time, an observation: After closing argument wrapped up, the judge told the jury he was going to now select two alternates who would sit out unless needed. Upon hearing the news, one juror suddenly and audibly let out a laugh. Like a snicker. It lasted only for a brief time. Two seconds tops. But the whole courtroom could most definitely hear it. Not sure what it meant or what was going through that juror's thoughts, but there was definitely a laugh.

2:35PM - An update: I didn't get to bring you this one earlier. More important things were happening simultaneously. BUT...

Saturday morning, before  court started, the judge admonished the media. He said someone had called to complain. The caller said their spouse is a juror and that the caller had seen their spouse on the news the night before. The judge told the media and camera crews that they are allowed inside the courtroom but they are not allowed to photograph the jury. FAST FORWARD...

This morning, before court started, he apologized for the record. The caller had called back to say that they had reviewed the newscast. As it turns out, the person on television was not a juror, but rather someone sitting in the gallery who looked like the caller's spouse.

2:30PM - It is not fair to make a prediciton, but I can tell you what'll happen next IF the jury makes certain decisions. IF the jury convicts Jeffrey Scott of first degree murder, he will be handcuffed and taken away. In this case, a first degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Jeffrey Scott does  NOT face the death pentalty. If Scott is found guilty of a lesser included offense, he will be sentenced at a later date. The judge would have to hold a sentencing hearing after which  Judge Lammey would decide the sentence. If Jeffrey Scott is acquitted of all charges, he'll walk out of 201 Poplar a free man.

2:23PM - The jury has plenty to consider. A week's worth of testimony is tops on the list. Also the jury charge is 31 pages long. Plus, each juror had pages and pages of notes scribbled onto notepads provided to them on day one.

First, the jury must make a decision on first degree murder. Guilty or Not guilty. If the jury decides he is not guilty, it must decide on the next carge down the list: Second degree murder. If the jury decides he is not guilty, it must thhen decide on the next charge down the list. It goes in the same pattern all the way down to simple assault.

2:13PM - 2 hours have passed since the jury got the case. Deliberations continue. The 6th floor is empty save for a few media folks hanging around in the hallway. The rest of the courthouse is empty.

2:04PM - Got a different computer with a different aircard. Hopefully any computer issues have been worked out. When this case gets to a crucial point, I whould still be on-line to bring those updates as soon as things happen.

1:36PM - The courthouse is so empty right now, even the interested parties in the case have left. Ashleys father is still upstairs, but I believe most of her family members left the courthouse when court recessed. Same goes for Jeffrey Scott's family. I believe most of them left the courthouse, too. It was lunchtime and it seems as though there's going to be a significant, anxious wait ahead. Three generations of Ballin's left 201 Poplar. They told our crews they were heading to lunch and would head back when they heard something. Don't know where prosecutors are or where they may have lunched, but all is certainly quiet as I sit on the floor in the hallway, staring at the locked doors to criminal courtroom division 5.

1:30PM - The jury is out deliberating. It got the case a little more than an hour ago. There is no clear indication, but most likely the jury ordered lunch in and continued deliberating through lunch. Two alternates are not involved in the deliberations. At this point, it's just 12 people in a room, deciding the fate of one man. How long will it take? No one knows. What are they talking about? Again, no one knows.

As far as the environment here at 201 Poplar -- no one's here. This being Martin Luther King Day, the courthouse is closed. Regular proceedings have been suspended for the holiday. Judge James Lammey has decided that this case would proceed as if it was not holiday. The jury has been sequestered since trial started. They have not seen family or friends since Tuesday night. Instead, they come to work at the courthouse every morning to hear testimony. When the day in court wraps up, they go back to the hotel where they are not allowed to watch or read news coverage of the case. They're mostly shut off from the world. And i think the judge would prefer to wrap up and get them home before tomorrow night's inauguration. We'll see.

12:20PM - The courtroom is clearing out.  Ashley Scott's friends and family are hugging prosecutor Missy Branham and thanking her for the good work. Karen Cook shared a hug with Ashley's sister. Emotions are high. Tears are flowing. Branham asks them to stop becauses she'll start crying. Jeffrey Scott and his family are already out of the courtroom. Let the wait begin. There is no indication how long deliberations will take.

12:15PM - Judge going over some last minute housekeeping issues about where they should write the verdict when they reach one.

At 12:13 PM, the judge gives them the case and tells them to go deliberate. Jury gone and out of the room.

Court in recess.

12:12PM - The state says this was a crime against the state of Tennessee. Ashley Scott is not going to school to teach and that is a crime against the state. State rests.
 
Bailiff picks numbers out of a hopper. Number 2. Number 5. Each juror had an assigned seat and a number that coincides. 12 jurors will deliberate. Number 2 and Number 5 are alternates and will not deliberate unless something happens and a juror is released before a decision.

12:08PM - She says Jeffrey has know-how, technical knowledge to know how to change what's in Ashley's phone. She says it's been an unhealthy relationship for years. And now it's enough of a provocation for her to kill him. She says someone needs to blame him. There is no adequate provocation. State says the jury only has two things to consider...or narrow it down to. First or second degree murder. The defendant unlawfully killed teh alleged victim. He acted knowingly, she says.

Branham says the biggest chore is for the jury to take the next step to consider pre-meditated killing.. She says his privileged upbringing made him believe he could get away with it. State says Roger McGee was in shock not Jeffrey Scott. he other State puts two pictures of Ashley on the overhead. One where she is alive and healthy. The other is a morgue photo. SHe says he intended to kill her and pre-meditated to do it. 13 hours, he waited. State says if it had  not been for the friend, Jeffrey probably would not have called 911. he might have taken and dumped her into the river. Jeffrey Scott keeps his head bowed. Ballin objects. Both sides at the bench.

12:00PM - Branham says Scott stomped on Ashley Scott. Kicks to the heads and body all up and down. She says that's the facts from pictures and the doctor after doctor after doctor. "She was beaten to death. Let's cut to the chase." State puts the overhead projector up with the legal definition of assault. She says Ballin wants them to consider this charge. Branham takes offense. Saying it's not an assault becaseu she died.

Moves on to that "small problem"...SO, she says, defense wants you to think about criminally negligent homicide. She says this isn't negligence. "We are WAAAAY past negligence." So, she says, the defense wants you to choose between reckless and negligence. State says reckless means you don't intend for something to happen. You're dring too fact, accident, etc. She says the evidence does not support reckless. SO, she says, the defense tries to put it under aggravated assault. BUT, Branhams say the distinction is that Ashley is dead. So, she says, Ballin is getting deparate and goes to voluntary manslaughter. She's reading the law. Takes issue with the "provocation sufficient to lead a reasonable person to act in an irrational manner." She says the provocation was not enough. He'd lived with her for years despite ongoing extra-marital issues.

11:50AM - State on re-direct closing. Missy Branham says no one really knows what happened in that house. Only two people know exactly what happened. Just Ashley and Jeffrey. So there are some uncertainties. No answers to some questions. She brings up the testimony of the trained medical experts, teh friends, her students, her co-workers. Branham says Ashley should be going to school tomorrow to teach, but she's not. She says we need goo school teachers. Branham says she won't go through all the testimony, they took notes. She won't belabor the point. She says we don't really even know if she slept in the garage, he's the one that told us that. She brings up a photograph from inside the house. She says Jeffrey came from a good family, had a good upbringing, lived in east Memphis, had some privilege in his life. Nice house. Now the pictures. The flower vases from the fireplace. Bakc to Funte's testimony about lal the abrasions all over Ashley' shead. Matted hair with all the hair spray. Debris in her hair.

11:43AM - Ballin finishes. Tells  them on behalf of Blake Ballin, Jeffrey Scott and himself that whatever decision they make will be the right one. Hands it over to the jury.
 
State steps up for re-direct closing.

11:41AM - Ballin is attacking Micahel Lowe's testimony. He says Lowe told them they'd cut off teh sexual relationship even though they really had not. He says Lowe only said that because he was in another relationship.

Ballin continues. Ballin speaks up. He says Jeffrey Scott wanted to get the marriage back on track and have a baby. He asks "What hematoma resulte in her death?" He says Ashley's BAC was above .30 when she went into the garage. Ballin says they got into a fight over Ashley being unfaithful yet again and about her sending sexual text maessages to another man. Ballin asks who put the clothes in Ashley's car. Ashley or Jeffrey. Who wanted her to leave. Ashley or Jeffrey and when Jeffrey figured out she wasn't leaving, he brought her a pillow and a blanket. He says the jury has the ultimate re-buttal. He asks them to remember the testimony in this case. Be your own person. Consider the otehr opinions. Make your own personal decision and then the decision as a group. Ballin says they have a reasonable doubt as to any intentioanl or knowing taking of life. He says they must consider the reckless homiced or the criminally negligent homicide only if they are certain that Jeffrey actions took the life of Ashley.

11:32AM - Ballin says Jeffrey Scott took Ashley to marriage counseling to try to get the marriage right. He wanted to fix it, to address alcohol issues, and to straighten things out. Scott admits to an affair that had long since stopped. Ballin says they went to counseling. Ballin says both had affairs. He says Ashley was having a sexualo relationship with Michael Lowe. Jeffrey found out because he got a phone call. He says Jeffrey got another phone call about another guy. He says it's a fact they had affairs, went to counseling, and were trying to fix the marriage by buying a house and having baby. He says then Jeffrey Scott found the messages sent to Micahel Lowe. He asks, "So how does that make a reasonable person act?" He says Scott saw the messages and re-acted. He says Jeffrey Scott checked the phone the next morning to see if there was response. Ballin says Jeffrey did not know Ashley was in trouble when he checke dthe phone.

11:25AM - Ballin says Jeffrey Scott's actions caused an unintended result. Ballin goes through more of the people we've heard from. He says, "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored" He says the state asked them to ignore the new house and the desire to get pregnant. Ballin says Songstad told her not to use the cell phone becasue I'm a domestic relations attorney. He's going through the testimony of Songstad and playing it off the testimony of Blair Brown saying teh two just don't make sense together. SOngstad told her not to use her cell phone. But she used the cell phone to text lowe more than 200 times. Ballin says Ashley was playing a charade with Songstad. What she was telling Songstad didn't jive with reality, Ballin says. He says alcohol ruined the relationship."The man takes the drink and the drink takes the man."

11:20AM - By the way, Blake Ballin is in the courtroom. He got here before the state started it's closing. Ballin brings up the lewd multimedia messages found on Ashley's phone. He says there are no questions about whose private parts are shown in the pictures. He says Scott is looking down at his notepad because he assaulted her. Ballin says finding the picture would cause him not to want to be with her. He says we're not talking about possibilites or probabiliites. Instead we're talking about what happened. Ballin says Jeffrey gave her pillow and blanket. Comfort items. Not the actions of someone who wants to kill another person. Ballin says he can look down at his paper from now til eternity and he should. But that doesn't mean he is guilty if intentionally killing his wife.

11:15AM - Ballin continues. He says state witnesses jumped on the bandwagon to say they saw those injuries after the saw the pictures. Ballin is attacking the testimony of Garmon, telling the jury that there is no excuse for the discrepany in Garmon's report. Goes on to testimony from Officer Stan Elkins. He says Jeffrey told him they had been drinking. Elkins said he smelled alcohol on Jeffrey. That Jeffrey told him he'd brought Ashley in at 9 am. Ballin moves on to other testimony. The text was from a male, not an unknown male. The argument was over the cell phone, Ashley using it and another male, Ballin says. Ballin says Jeffrey told the police there was an argument and it turned physical. Ballin says a person's feeling can be elevated. They can be impassioned.  Ballin says state took liberties deviating from the truth during it's closing argument.

11:10AM - Ballin says McGee noticed bruising, but not to the extent shown in the pictures. He says the cut on her lip is consistent with being intubated. Some of the other injuries are a result of what the body does after death. He says teh state attacked O.C. Smith's testimony. He also says Jeffrey Scott was in shock  He was calm, etc becasue he was in shock. He says human act abnormal when they are in shock. They don't act normally, he says. Ballin goes back to testimony from Officer Lidell. Evidence that Jeffrey hit Ashley? Absolutely. Evidence that he intentionally killed her? No, Ballin says. Goes on to testimony of paramedic Garmon and his testimony that he didn't notice any injuries to the mouth. Ballin says the injury to the mouth must be a result of intubation.

11:05AM - Ballin continues with his closing. He's speaking far more softly that Prosecutor Karen Cook. Ballin says he called his friend who is the doctor when he first noticed his wife might need help. He didn't call any other friend, just "his friend, the doctor." Ballin says he asked McGee to come alone because he wasn't proud of what was going on in their lives. Ballin says it's imopratan that he called a doctor when he recognized there is a medical issue. Should he have called 911? Absolutely, Ballins says. He says Jeffrey didn't call 911 becasue he knew he had done worng and wasn't proud.

11:00AM - Leslie Ballin is in his closing argument. He says Cook took liberties in her closing argument that he wants to the jury to disregard. Mimics Karen Cook..."He's looking down" He asks tehm what they want hims to do? He here. he's not proud or happy about it. Ballin says the lesser included offenses need to be considered moreso than first degree murder. He says Jeffrey Scott did not act in pre-meditated fashion. He says the lesser included offenses apply. He attacks the determination that blunt force trauma is what killed Ashley. he's going through the differnet injuries to Ashley Scott. The eyes, the head. Ballin says Jeffrey Scott does not deny assaulting Ashley Scott. He asks which of these blows was the deadly one. He says the photos of jeffrey Scott are important. He doesn't have any injuries. He goes back to Littlejohsn's testimony saysing Jeffrey Scott's shoes did not make the bruise on Ashley Scott's back.

Ballin says the jury should not consider sympathy and prejudice which he says was the point of replaying the 911 tape and showign the pictures in the state's closing.

10:50AM - State attacks O.C. Smith's testimony. Says he's the only one to come to his conclusion while 4 other doctors came to another conclusion. Cook says justice demands a first degree murder conviction. State finished. Defense now up to close.

10:45AM - Court took a recess at the request of a juror...Sorry for the delay -- computer issues. Court back in session now. Karen Cook continguing with ehr closing argument...She says the text message that set it off was actually from a student, Megan Tate, who sent Ashley w text saying "Happy Thanksgiving" She says it wasn't from an unknown male. Just before Jeffrey Scott put his wife in front of the fireplace, a multi media message downloaded to his wife's phone. Whyw as he checking her messages she asks. Planting a defense? SHe says he had access to her phone for 13 hours. At 10:51 am, while she's still laying in teh garage, the defendant checked her voicemail twice, dowloaded multimedia message. State says Scott was messing with her phone while she was unresponsive. 30 deleted calls, state says. Only Jeffrey could've deleted them she says.

10:25AM - Cook says she's proven premeditation and intentional. Can't tell how many blows to the head Ashley took. She says Scott kept hitting on and on indicated premeditation and intent. Made her sleep in the garage. Not good here because it's eiterh too hot or too cold. Anotehr indication of premeditation or intent. She says Ashley was unresponsive at 9 am when Jeffrey went to first check on here. Instead of calling 911, he picked her up and put her on the floor in front of the fireplace, not on teh couch, not in the bed. She says then he checked her voicemail and downloaded a multimedia message on Ashley's phone. Don't know from whom are what the message was. Cook says he still didn't call 911. Instead he tried to put her on teh bed, but couldn't because she's dead wait. Muscle deterioration. Still no 911 call. Just a call to Roger McGee. A seven digit phone number...not 9-1-1. Takes McGee 45 minutes to get there because he had to drop of witnesses who wouldn't see what had happened to Ashley.

10:20AM - Running through events on November 23, 2006. Cook says things might no make sense. But it doesn't have to. OB-GYN visit. Goes by house. Then Blair Brown dropped her off at home. She looks normal. Then it gets late. She says by 12:30 am, Ashley Scott was passed out in teh garage not because she passed out, but becasue "HE SLAMMED HER IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH HIS FOOT!" Cook says, he made her sleep out in the garage. Cook says Jeffrey Scott got mad over a text message from an unknown male. She says teh fight didn't start over the text messaging from Michael Lowe. Because he knows who Micahel Lowe is. Lowe is not an unknown male to Jeffrey Scott. he'd caught his wife having an affair with them, Cook says. Roger McGeen shows up, unprepared for what he saw. Picture of Ashley at the hospital now on the overhead projector. Cook says no one could be prepared for seeing that on teh bathroom floor. Cook wants to know why Jeffrey Scott checked the voice mail on Ashley's phone when she was passed out unconscious on the floor. State says Scott drank too. Had a cigarette and a beer while his wife was unconscious on the floor. Cook says Scott is calm and indifferent on the 911 call. She says Scott was not in shock that day. State says Scott was calm all day. Not in shock.

10:11AM - Cook goes through first degree murder. Says he certainyl unlawfully killed her. He doesn't have any defense wounds on him. She says he certainly acted intentionally. It took 5 minutes and 40 seconds for 911 to respond. That's all it took to get aid, but Scott waited 13 hours to get her that aid. Premeditated. Cook says he said he told her he'd kill he if she ever left her.  2 months prior to her leaving. He had his foot on her neck she said Jeffrey I can't breathe and he told her I didn't want you to breathe, Cook says. Within one year of marriage, Scott started having affair. Three years later, Ashley Scott started her own affair even though she did not know. Cook says the conduct of Ashley Scott is not on trial. "HIS, the one with his head down looking in his lap. HIS CONDUCT IS WHAT'S ON TRIAL!" Cook yells. She says Ashley drank too much becasue she got beaten on a regular basis.

10:05AM - State's closing argument. Starts with 911 call. Dispatcher picks up. Caller asks for ambulance at his house. Jeffrey Scot has his head bowed. Forehead in his left hand. Fingertips on his forehead near the scalp line. He has not looked up as he hears himself tell the dispatcher that his wife is breathing normally but that she's unconscious and bleeding from her head. he tells the dispatcher that he doesn't know what happened. She's been unconscious since this morning.. 10 or 11 o'clock. Jeffrey Scott has not moved the whole time the tape is being replayed for the jury. On teh overhead projectorr, the state is hsowing images and photographs displayed from throughout the trial. Many of them are morgue photos of Ashley Scott's body and the bruises covering different parts of her body. The tape is still playing the images are still flashing across the overhead projectors. Prosecutor Karen Cook has not said a word in closing. Allowing the jury to take in the tape and the photographs. Tape still playing. Part where you hear the doctor friend says she's dead. Tape over.

Cook speaks. 5 minutes and 40 seconds. How long the tape lasted. How long 911 took to respond to "what that man started 13 hours early!" Cook raises her voice. State submits that AShley Scott was leaving Jeffrey Scott. saved up filing fee. Songstad told her not to go back there becase "she felt she owed THAT MAN an explanation!" It got her a spot on a cold hard garage floor. Clothes stuffed in trunk. School stuff underneath clothes. It's not just junk she through in there. An unopened bottle of wine still in the front seat. State says if she was just a drunk that unopened bottle would've been opened. Cook says she's leaving this man and she told somebody if I ever leave him, he will kill me! Cook yell, "HE KILLED HER! BEAT HER TO DEATH! THE RUDE UNHINGING OF THE MACHINERY OF LIFE!" Nothing more rude than what you witnessed all week long, she says.

9:55AM - Judge explains that teh jury must consider the indictment in order, starting with First Degree Murder. Must consider it first then move ont eh the lesser included offense onyl if defendant is not guilty of first degree murder. Then the jury must go down teh heirarchy of charges, consider a lesser included offense on if the defendant is not guilty of the more serious charge above it. Judge fished reading jury charge.

9:51AM - Jury allowed to take notes throughout trial. Charged that those notes are for individual use only. Cannot be used to share with other jurors in any way. Verdict must be unanimous, but each must make his/her decision. Page 27

9:49AM - Page 23

9:47AM - Presumption of innocence, burden of proof, reasonable doubt, impeaching a witness, credibility of a witness. All being explained. The jury must decide how much weight to place on each witnesses testimony. No weight should be placed on the fact that Jeffrey Scott didn't take the stand.

9:44AM - The judge is still reading. He's on page 17. This will take awhile. But the jury is paying attention, reading along, pens in hands. Jeffrey Scott is reading along, too. So is leslie Ballin. The prosecutors. All reading along. The judge is reading about the diffrences between direct evidence and the circumstantial evidence.

9:41AM - The judge is still reading. It's a lot of legal speak. The judge is basically that it's the jury's duty to carefully consider all the evidence put forth in this case. The jury is the exclusive judge of the facts in this case. First degree murder requires that the defendant killed the victim, defendantly acted intentionally, and the killing was premeditated.

Second degree murder requires that the defendant unlawfully killed the victim and the defendant acted knowingly.

Voluntary manslaughter requires the defendant unlawfully killed the defendant, acted intentionally and knowingly, and it resulted from passion or adequate provocation.

Aggravated Assault requires teh defendant intentionally and knowingly caused serious bodily harm.

Reckless homicide requires the defendant killed the victim and acted recklessly.

Criminally negligent homicide requires the defendant's conduct resulted in the victims death and the defendant acted with criminal negligence.

Assault requires the defendant caused bodily injury to the victim and the defendant acted intentionally, knowingly or recklessly

9:32AM - Jury is back in the room. Don't know if they were assigned seats, but each is sitting in the exact seat he or shee has sat all week. The judge handed each juror a copy of the 31-page jury charge. The jury will be able to read along with the judge and use the document as notes while deliberating. Judge says there might be typos in the document. Judge is explaining to the jury the concept of "lesser included offenses" right now. He's using a robbery as an example.

The judge reads.

9:23AM - Prosecutors Missy Branham, Steve Crossnoe, and Karen Cook are here ready to go. Jeffrey Scott is here and defense attorney Leslie Ballin is sitting next to him. Blake Ballin is curiously absent from the courtroom. Don't know why. But Marvin Ballin is here sitting just feet behind his son in the gallery.

9:18AM - Correction -- the CD was just being played to make sure the gear is working...No other reason. It's off now.

9:15AM - Court is in session. Jury is not back. The court will substitute the cassette tape of the 911 call for a CD of the 911 call. No diffrence between the two. Just that the state could re-dact parts of the tape live in teh courtroom. For the CD, the state had to re-dact certain parts so the jury wouldn't hear it while it's alone.

Meanwhile, the courtroom is packed once again. Jeffrey Scott's family and friends on the right side of the courtroom. Ashley Scott's family on friends on the left.

Jeffrey Scott's sitting in the same seat in which he's sat all week. Chin on his hand, lawyer to his right. He's reading over a copy of the 31-page jury charge. In teh background the 911 call is playing again to prove to the court that the CD is no diffrent than the tape.

9:10AM - The jury is not in the room and court is no yet back in session. Apparently the wcourt is waiting to clear up a couple technical issues. In the meantime, reading up on the charge...the judge will tell the jury the indictment is a first degree murder indictment. They must first consider whether Jeffrey Scott is guilty or not guilty of first degree murder. If he's not guilty, the jury could convict of one of six lesser offenses: second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless homicide, criminally negligent homicide, or assault.

First degree murder could carry a sentence of life in prison.

9:06AM - The judge and the court are making last minute preparations to read the jury charge. This is typically a long tedious process that requires the jury's full attention. The judge had told the gallery that there will be no going in or out of the courtroom while the judge is reading the charge and both sides are making closing arguments.

The judge has just givene members of the media a copy of the jury charge. It's 31 pages. The judge will read all of them to the jury. And then we will have closing arguments. 

8:30AM - Trial will continue today with closing arguments.  Standby for updates from the courtroom.

Powered by Frankly