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Scott found guilty of murder
Defense hoped for manslaughter conviction in death of Decatur woman

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

A defense of shooting his girlfriend in the heat of passion didn't fit the charge of manslaughter for Corey Scott, and a jury convicted him instead of murder Tuesday in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Scott, 29, testified in his own defense and told the jury that after shooting Eboni Garth multiple times in the back he did not know he had killed her.

His defense attorneys asked the jury to convict him of manslaughter rather than murder.

Stormy relationship

Scott described a stormy relationship between him and the victim up to the time of the shooting Nov. 30, 2005. Scott said he met Garth, 21, after he finished a prison sentence on a drug conviction in 2003.

He said a heated argument over more drug charges sent him into a rage when he shot her at her mother's home.

Scott said he and Garth were both charged with trafficking drugs in 2004, when police found cocaine in Garth's purse. He said Garth told police that the cocaine was hers.

Earlier on the day of the murder, Scott said he and Garth had lunch together at a restaurant near her job at a toy store in Colonial Mall. He said two females passed them and were laughing.

He said Garth started fussing at him and saying that she going to tell police that the drugs in her purse belonged to him. He said she knew that a trafficking conviction would put him in prison for life because he would be a habitual offender.

Scott said before he left the mall that evening he broke up with Garth and told her to find someone else.

Scott said he went to a friend's house and started drinking. He said Garth called his cellular phone between 9 and 9:30 p.m. and he told how she had the wrong number. He said she told him not to come back to her job.

He said his friends, a male and female, took him to Garth's home on Arbor Avenue Southwest. Scott said he wanted to let her know that they could still be cordial, but when he got there, she started telling him that she was going to give information to police to put him in prison for life.

"All of a sudden I just lost my mind," Scott said. "I couldn't control myself. After that I blacked out. I just fell in the floor."

Scott said he didn't realize he had killed Garth and he thought she would call 911.

He said when he got back into the car with his friends he told them, "I believe I done messed up and shot Eboni."

Scott said they went to Tennessee that night and the next day he got a call from Decatur police detective Lt. Nadis Carlisle, who told him that Garth was dead.

He said he hung up the phone and he and his friends returned to Decatur. They got a room at Nitefall Motel where police arrested Scott on Dec. 2.

Scott's lawyers, Joe Powell and Larry Madison, argued that he was guilty of manslaughter because she taunted him about putting him in prison for life. They said that provoked Scott.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Matthews told the jury that getting mad and shooting the victim 12 times is murder, not manslaughter.

"He wanted her to die," Matthews said. "He didn't shoot her one time and go, 'Oh my God, what have I done?' He shot her 12 times in the back. He's guilty of murder."

The jury agreed. After deliberating for about an hour, it returned the guilty verdict.

Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson revoked Scott's bonds and scheduled his sentencing for Aug. 15.

Scott faces life in prison without parole because of the murder conviction, which is a Class-A felony, combined with prior convictions.

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