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Man gets 100 years for P.G. robberies

Also suspect in multiple killings

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A man who remains a suspect in three killings in Prince George's County was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison for unrelated crimes committed during a string of robberies.

U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Jason Thomas Scott, 28, who was convicted in July for crimes including carjacking, stealing firearms and production of child pornography.

"You were not just a one-man crime wave, you were a tsunami of crime," Judge Messitte said at the sentencing at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt.

Scott, who tried unsuccessfully to request a new court-appointed attorney before the sentencing, was arrested in June 2009 after he sold stolen firearms to a federal agent. After his arrest, Scott admitted to a series of crimes that dated back to his childhood and included more than 50 burglaries, nine armed home invasions and a series of homicides that included mother and daughter victims in Prince George's County, prosecutors said.

Scott has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Delores Dewitt, 42, and her 20-year-old daughter, Ebony, whose bodies were discovered in March 2009 in a burning car in Largo. He is scheduled for trial in October on those charges but thus far has not been charged in three other deaths to which prosecutors say he admitted responsibility.

County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said Scott "is still a suspect" in the slayings of another mother and daughter, Karen Lofton, 45, and 16-year-old Karissa Lofton, who were found shot in their home in January 2009. Scott is also tied to the slaying of Vilma Butler, who was found shot in her Bowie home in June 2008 after her house was set ablaze.

With the lengthy sentence handed down Tuesday, prosecutors have plenty of time to continue to pursue the other cases and to when or if to bring charges, said Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

"No matter what happens in that state case, Mr.. Scott will be in prison for the rest of his life," Mr.. Rosenstein said.

Because of a number of mandatory sentencing requirements, Scott faced a minimum of 97 years in prison after he was convicted on 11 separate counts.

Scott's attorney, Kobie Flowers, said his client made "false confessions" for some of the 61 crimes to which he admitted involvement after speaking with co-conspirators.

"He walked in, he admitted to crime after crime," Mr. Flowers said. "Not one of those crimes did the state deem worthy to charge him with."

While Scott declined to speak at the sentencing, several of his victims recalled the how the burglaries and attacks committed in 2008 and 2009 have continued to wreak havoc on their daily lives.

"I never really walked in fear of anyone or anything until this incident happened at my home," said Shirley Grooms, who was beaten up and robbed at gunpoint by Scott and an accomplice at her Upper Marlboro home in 2008.

Mrs. Grooms said that she and her husband continue to sleep in shifts and that she's stopped venturing out anywhere after dark for fear of being attacked again.

"I have to be watchful all the time," she said. "My American dream, my home, has become my prison."

Prosecutors said Scott meticulously planned his attacks, stalking victims at their homes and researching their backgrounds on the Internet and with a database at a United Parcel Service facility in Largo, where he worked at the time. When he attacked, Scott carried an arsenal of items that stood out to victims, including body armor, a police scanner, a Glock handgun and flex cuffs.

The mother of a 17-year-old girl who was molested by Scott said all of her children remain afraid to leave her side, even knowing the man who broke into their house is behind bars.

Prosecutors said Scott held up the woman's family at gunpoint in June 2009, forced the girl to undress and videotaped himself touching her.

"I feel guilty every time I look at her because I couldn't save her from what he did to her," the girl's mother said.

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