A Missouri man is accused of killing his wife just hours after a nonprofit group posted his $5,000 bail in a domestic violence case involving his spouse.
Samuel Scott was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Marcia Johnson, who was 54. Scott is now jailed on $1 million bond.
The defendant had previously been accused of striking Johnson in the face and injuring her ear and cheekbone. He also threatened that he “might as well finish what (he) started since (she) was going to contact the police,” according to a probable cause statement from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
The St. Louis Bail Project posted his bail and he was released on April 9, according to the probable cause statement. Scott would go to their St. Louis home at 7:45 p.m. that same night, according to authorities, and she was later found unconscious, with a broken eye socket, several broken ribs and multiple bruises. She died on Sunday.
Samuel Scott admitted striking her, according to police.
“No one could have predicted this tragedy,” Bail Project Executive Director Robin Steinberg said in a statement. “It’s important to remember that had he been wealthy enough to afford his bail, or bonded out by a commercial bail bond agency, he would have been free pretrial as well. In times like this, we must come together for this family and keep sight of the need to transform the larger systems that create poverty, racism and violence, including the pretrial bail system.”
The Bail Project is a national organization that bails out people who are jailed awaiting trial if they are unable to post the release money. It has been operating in St. Louis for more than a year.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said in a statement that she plans to meet with Bail Project officials “to review their policies and practices to help them better understand the risks to victims and witnesses when posting bail for any type of domestic violence cases or for any defendant who is a potential safety risk to an individual or to the community.”
Samuel Scott, 54, has multiple convictions for assault and drug crimes.
With News Wire Services
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