Jury recommends life in prison for Christie Scott - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Jury recommends life in prison for Christie Scott

By Josh Ault - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

RUSSELLVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A jury that convicted a Russellville mother in the death of her son Wednesday recommended Friday that she be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The jury started deliberating on the fate of Christie Scott Friday morning at the Franklin County Courthouse starting at 8:30 a.m. They made their decision around 10 a.m.

"The State of Alabama versus Christie Michelle Scott, we the jury recommend the defendant Christie Michelle Scott to punishment by life in prison without parole," read the recommendation made by the jury. 

Scott looked directly at her family as the recommendation was made, then meet briefly with her lawyers before being taken away.

After the recommendation was made, Scott's family gathered in the courtroom and prayed. They all left the courthouse without commenting.

"We have to be very careful what we say at this point," said defense attorney Robert Tuten.

Tuten said the case isn't over. An appeal is already in the works and will be processed after the judge sentences Scott on August 5.

"We are pleased that a majority of the jury saw fit to save her life," Tuten said.

Five jurors voted for the death penalty and the remaining seven voted for life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

"That puts a burden on the judge when there is just such a split," said Franklin County Defense Attorney Joe Rushing.

Rushing said they are pleased with the jury's recommendation, but will again ask the judge to consider death as an option. This recommendation will be considered by Circuit Court Judge Terry Dempsey, who will make the final decision in August. 

After Dempsey makes his final decision, there will be an automatic appeal.

The two most recent capital murder trials in franklin county have involved the murders of children.

In October of 2007, Jodey Waldrop was sentenced to death for the slaying of his 3-week-old son. The child was killed at the family's Red Bay home in September of 2005. Waldrop claimed his son died accidentally.

The most recent case is still unresolved in the minds of many. Sixteen years ago, Andrea Gonzales, 5, was reported missing. Investigators searched all over the county, but never found the child's body.

Eventually, her father Paul Gonzales reached an agreement with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in her death. Andrea's stepmother Kim was convicted of child abuse charges and she served four years in prison. Andrea's body has never been found.

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