Today, a jury found Jonathan Scott guilty of manslaughter for shooting & killing 16-year-old Mustafa Bearfield. A sentencing hearing will be held at a later date.
— Aaron Cantrell (@AaronTheNewsGuy) May 16, 2018
After less than two hours of deliberations, a jury convicted an Alabama bread truck driver in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black teen.
Johnathan Scott, 52, wept Wednesday as he was led from the courtroom after being found guilty of manslaughter in the June 21, 2016 shooting of Mustafa Bearfield, AL.com reported. Scott, who was dubbed the “George Zimmerman of Alabama,” shot and killed the 16-year-old boy for allegedly stealing a lunch box from his bread delivery truck early that morning.
“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” Scott testified, saying he shouted at the teen to drop the lunch box, but Bearfield responded with a “screw you” look. That’s when Scott said he tried to scare the teen into dropping the box by firing several shots over his head. He missed.
By this time, Bearfield had started running, but Scott kept firing. The final of the six shots struck the young man in the back of the head, killing him.
Defense attorney’s for the deliveryman tried to argue for a lesser charge of negligent homicide, saying their client was only trying to scare the teen into returning the lunchbox. Scott himself claimed that he carried a gun and several thousand dollars inside the stolen lunchbox — both of which were never found.
“It was just a cooler. It was not worth a kid’s life,” Scott said in a recorded interrogation with police. “He was just a boy. Why did I even try to scare him?”
The jury ultimately decided that the defendant had acted “recklessly” by disregarding the risk of death posed by his multiple shots at the teen, AL.com reported.
Scott faces up to 20 years behind bars.