Capital murder charges against Justin Marquis Scott, 19, were dropped after surveillance video of him in another city was discovered that proved he could not have committed the crime, reports NBC Los Angeles.
Scott stood accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, Crystallyn Nguyen, 18, her new boyfriend’s grandmother, Dora Dawson, 64, and attempting to kill the new boyfriend, Datwan Henderson, 22, at a home in Inglewood, California.
After Scott’s mother mortgaged her home in order to retain a lawyer for her son, Attorney Juliette Robinson and her team uncovered surveillance footage of Scott at several businesses in Compton, including a CVS Pharmacy, a Chinese restaurant and a smoke shop.
Robinson’s team made the discovery 3 hours before the videos were scheduled to be erased and recorded over.
“Based upon newly discovered evidence, prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the charged crimes,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Read more from NBC Los Angeles:
Scott said he repeatedly told investigators he did not commit the crimes, but it wasn’t until his mother mortgaged her home to hire an attorney that detectives saw surveillance video that proved Scott was in another city at the time of the attack.
“I had nightmares every night,” Scott said. “I cried every night.”
Prosecutors had alleged that Scott, a resident of Compton, confronted his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend about 12:30 p.m. in the 11700 block of S. Crenshaw Boulevard.
“I knew he was innocent,” Scott’s mother Netta Williams said. “But the way they came at us, came at me, came at my son, it was unjust. (In) the world that we live in, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.”
Henderson, who is still hospitalized, is reportedly upset that charges were dismissed against Scott. His uncle, Shawn Williams, is also angry.
“I’m like a volcano, I’m boiling over,” Williams said. “It’s scary, you know. For them to let somebody out, it’s mind-boggling.”
If he had been convicted, Scott faced the death penalty.