Jeffrey Scott's attorney to appeal verdict; Ashley's family considers lawsuit - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Jeffrey Scott's attorney to appeal verdict; Ashley's family considers lawsuit

Jeffrey Scott was booked into jail shortly after his conviction. (Courtesy Shelby-Sherrif.org) Jeffrey Scott was booked into jail shortly after his conviction. (Courtesy Shelby-Sherrif.org)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Jeffery Scott was convicted of second degree murder Monday evening in the Thanksgiving Day 2006 death of his wife, Bolton High School teacher Ashley Scott.  Tuesday, parties on both sides of Scott's trial worked to determine what would happen next.

Moments after he was convicted Monday night, Scott was booked into the Shelby County Jail, where he will stay until he's moved over to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin said his client seemed prepared for the jury's verdict.

"He was pretty reserved about it," Ballin said. "We had been talking getting ready for trial. He knew what the results would be based on what the conviction was. We didn't expect to be exonerated totally. There was no way."

Scott faces 15 to 25 years in state prison, but he plans to fight the conviction.  Ballin said he will present a motion for a new trial on February 19th, the day Scott is scheduled to be sentenced.  At that point, the case will move out of criminal court and into a higher appeals court.

Though the State of Tennessee allows individuals appealing convictions to get out of jail on appeal bonds, that rule does not apply to people convicted of first or second degree murder, meaning Scott will remain jailed throughout the appeals process.

The case could move into civil court.  On November 17, 2007, the estate of Ashley Pittman Scott filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jeffrey Scott on three counts: battery, outrageous conduct, and negligently causing Ashley's death.

The complaint does not ask for a specific dollar amount, but requests punitive damages and damages for the value of Ashley's life, for pain, suffering, and for funeral and medical expenses.
 
However, even if successful in their litigation, Ashley's family might never see any money.  Scott will earn only pennies per day in prison, and his family cannot be held liable for his actions.

Monday night Ashley's sister, Kecia Vekovius, was pleased the criminal case against Jeffrey Scott was over.

"Over vibrant angel Ashley can rest in peace knowing that we all fought long and hard on her behalf to seek justice, Vekovius said.

Now, Vekovius' attorney will guide her family through a serious of options, including determining if the cost of litigation is worth what they might get out of it.


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