Alabama Man Found Guilty For Killing Unarmed Black Teen Over Stolen Lunchbox
A former bread truck driver from Alabama has been found guilty of manslaughter after fatally shooting an unarmed teen he accused of stealing a lunchbox.
Jonathan Scott was charged with killing 16-year-old Mustafa Bearfield in Huntsville, Alabama. The jury reached its guilty verdict after less than two hours of deliberations, according to a report from AL.com.
The incident took place back on June 21, 2016. Scott testified that Bearfield stole a lunchbox from his bread delivery truck outside a convenience store and attempted to scare the teen into dropping or returning the lunchbox by firing six shots over the teen’s head. Scott was approximately 225 feet behind Bearfield when he fired the shots, with the last round piercing the back of the teen’s head.
Scott claimed that he yelled for Bearfield to drop the lunch box, but the teen gave him a “screw you look.”
“I told him to drop it or I’ll shoot,” Scott added.
The 52-year-old man faces up to 20 years in prison. Chad Morgan, Scott’s attorney, tried to reduce his charge to criminally negligent homicide. But the jury chose manslaughter because they believed Scott had acted “recklessly,” and “consciously disregarded” the risk of death for Bearfield. To convict on the lesser charge, the jury would have to decide Scott wasn’t aware of the risk but should have been.
As AL.com notes, Scott has been referred to as the “Geroge Zimmerman of Alabama” because of the similarity to the fatal shooting of the Florida teen.