A story for every victim

Murder charges dropped against Compton man in double homicide

Murder charges were dropped Oct. 29 against a 19-year-old man from Compton due to a lack of evidence.

Justin Marquis Scott, who had been charged with the Oct. 8 capital murder of Dora Lee Dawson, 64, and Crystallyn May Nguyen, 18, said he spent his days in jail crying and waking from nightmares.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge approved a motion by prosecutors to dismiss murder charges against Scott based on surveillance footage that showed him at two shopping centers in Compton on the day of the shootings. 

“Based upon newly discovered evidence, prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the charged crimes,” said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

On Oct. 30, he told reporters about the 20-day ordeal.

"I didn't do it," Scott said. "And I wouldn't be here right now if I did."

Prosecutors had accused Scott of confronting his ex-girlfriend, Nguyen, and Nguyen’s boyfriend’s grandmother, Dawson, 64.

Prosecutors alleged that Scott shot Nguyen and then Dawson as Dawson tried to protect her 22-year-old grandson, who was wounded.

Scott's lawyer, Juliette Robinson, said it was the first time in her 25-year career that she had a video surveillance timeline for a client, but the case is still troubling for all parties.

"There are no winners here," she said.

Scott said that from the beginning, he had an alibi."I repeatedly told them where I was, every step I was that whole day."

Inglewood police Lt. Gabriela Garcia said charges were based on information the investigators had at the time.

She said that evidence was not primarily based on eyewitness testimony, but declined to comment further on what led investigators to charge Scott.

Garcia said the investigation remains active.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz and Ruben Vives

Photo: Justin Scott, flanked by his attorney Juliette Robinson, far right, and family members, holds a press conference Oct. 30 in front of the Inglewood police station. Credit: Rick Loomis, Los Angeles Times

Post a comment

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.

  Required
  Required
Email addresses are not republished or used for marketing purposes.

Five reader comments