Jo-el Scott found guilty of first-degree murder
Ex-boxer convicted on two counts in killing of Dorothy
Royal, 59, on June 11 in Lincoln Park
From the Hearst-owned Times Union
By MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON, Staff writer
Last updated: 4:43 p.m., Thursday, January 13, 2005
ALBANY -- Jo-el Scott showed as little expression when he was pronounced
guilty of two counts of first-degree murder today as he has during
his entire trial.
After deliberating for just three hours, an Albany County jury convicted
Scott in the brutal killing of 59-year-old Dorothy Royal on June
11 in Lincoln Park.
Relatives cheered and embraced when the verdict was read.
"Justice has been served today,'' cried Royal's daughter, Martha,
as tears of joy poured from her eyes. "I just want to say thank
you, Jesus. Oh, God. Thank you.''
Royal then raised her arms to the ceiling and called to her dead
mother: "We got him Shu-girl. We got him.''
Jurors began deliberations around 1 p.m. after an hour lecture on
the law from presiding Judge Thomas A. Breslin.
Scott, 33, will be sentenced March 10 and faces life in prison.
His attorney Peter Lynch said he will appeal the verdict. Scott also
faced second-degree murder and a variety of sexual assault counts
in the case, but the first-degree conviction superceded the need
for conviction on the other counts.
Scott had claimed, in a story that continually changed, that he
was only running to Royal's aid on June 11 as two other men were
beating her in Lincoln Park.
Scott, who admitted to being drunk and high on cocaine and marijuana,
said he had Royal's blood on his clothes because he fell down repeatedly
as he "tousled'' with the two men.
And he denied being found by police with his pants around his ankles
as he lifted himself off the dead woman.
"DNA is based on the law of probability,'' defense lawyer Lynch
said. "And the real perpetrator of this vicious crime is still
out there. It's not Jo-el.''
The real killer left his mark in blood on the rubber glove Royal
was wearing to collect bottles and cans that morning, he said, raising
a photo of the ripped glove: "It doesn't get any plainer than
that. It's no more. And no less.''
When it was his turn, prosecutor David Rossi dissected Scott's story,
that he acknowledged had changed as many times as he talked with
police and then testified.
"Sometimes things are exactly as they appear to be,'' he said. "And
folks, that's what we have here.''
Scott is a 6-foot-3-inch man with the power to knock out a 250-pound
man with one punch, he said: "He's a boxer. He may as well have
been hitting her with anvils.''
DNA experts said it was a one in 900 billion chance more likely
that the pubic hair they found on Royal's glove came from Scott,
rather than from someone else. And a one in 300 billion chance it
was someone other than Royal's blood found mixed with semen inside
Scott's underwear, Rossi said: "... And one of those people
must have been his long-lost twin brother, because that's the only
other way to explain it.''
Jo-el Scott deliberately killed Royal because she was the only witness
to the crime, Rossi said: "He could have just held her down
and raped her. But he did it because he's Jo-el Scott. And everyone
in the South End knows him. He squeezed the life out of her with
one hand while he beat it out of her with the other.''
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