As Jury Finds Ex-Chief Justice Scott, Others Guilty, Defendants Take exception Go To Supreme Court
Former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott, along with three other family members, has been found guilty of the murder of Charloe Musu, a relative.
The verdict, delivered by a majority of the jury, concluded the five-month grueling trial that included charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, and raising a false alarm to law enforcement officers.
During the trial, the prosecution successfully argued that Charloe’s death was premeditated, while the defense sought to cast doubt on such claims.
“We, the trial jurors in the case, after careful consideration of the evidence, hereby agree that the defendants are judged guilty of the crimes of murder, criminal conspiracy, and raising a false alarm to law enforcement officers,” 11 out of the 12 jurors said in their ruling after deliberating for less than an hour.
The jury’s verdict came after five months of listening to grueling arguments from both the prosecution and defense lawyers, with each party presenting a compelling narrative and gripping testimonies, and a thorough examination of evidence to outweigh each other.
But for the jurors, the prosecution presented more compelling evidence that detailed the events leading up to Charloe’s untimely death. Witnesses, forensic experts, and law enforcement officials, in the minds of the jurors, collaborated on the case against the accused, presenting a convincing narrative that left little room for doubt — fueling the majority guilty verdict on all charges.
Musu, a niece of the former Chief Justice, was found stabbed to death in the night hours of February 22 in the home of the legal luminary.
Scott and her co-accused blamed the death on an alleged assassin or intruder, who they claimed escaped after the accident had taken place.
However, months after a thorough examination of the crime scene, the government, on June 12, indicted Scott and three other family members for murder, criminal conspiracy, and giving a false alarm to police.
The government, in its indictment, claimed that in the night hours of “February 22, at about 10:00 PM, Cllr. Gloria Musu-Scott, Gertrude Newton, Alice Johnson, and Rebecca Youdeh Wisner, “with criminal intent, armed themselves with a sharp instrument believed to be a knife and pepper spray; and willfully, intentionally, purposely, and maliciously inflicted several bodily injuries on Charlotte Musu, including her chest, right hand, left thigh, and left armpit, leading to her death and thereby committing the crime of murder.”
But Scott and her co-defendants denied the charges and pleaded not guilty. During the trial, their lawyers argued that they were “being wrongly accused of a crime they know nothing about” as a result of the state’s failure to go after the main perpetrator(s).
Scott’s lawyers also argued that prosecution’s evidence was weakened and failed to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the four defendants actually committed the crime of murder with “what was believed to be a knife”, as claimed by the government.
The prosecution, however, rebutted and defended their evidence, saying that the circumstances surrounding the incident clearly show that the former chief justice and her family members were actually liable for the death of Musu.
The majority of jurors then sided with the prosecution’s case — arguing in their ruling that after they had meticulously examined the evidence and witness testimonies, it was easy to reach the guilty verdict for the charges that defendants were accused of, which include the charges of murder and criminal conspiracy that carry severe legal punishment.
The sentencing phase of the trial is now on hold as Scott’s lawyers have announced plans to file an appeal to the Supreme Court, believing that the jury’s verdict is a miscarriage of justice.
During the appeal period, the former Chief Justice and her family members will remain behind bars until the Supreme Court can issue a ruling if they file an appeal.
According to Defense Lawyers, the prosecution has failed to adduce evidence beyond all reasonable doubt. However, the prosecution noted that its evidence and the circumstances surrounding the incident clearly show that Defendant Scott and three others are liable for the death of the later Charloe Musu.
The final argument, which drew the presence of key government officials, saw a majority guilty verdict.
Eleven of the jurors voted for a guilty verdict, and one voted for a not guilty verdict.
“We, the trial jurors in the case, after careful consideration of the evidence, hereby carefully agree that the defendants are hereby judged guilty of the crime of murder, criminal conspiracy, and raising a false alarm to law enforcement officers,” the juror’s verdict read.
Following the juror’s decision, Maryland County Senator J. Gbleh-bo Browne said all was not yet over and that the defendants have the right to take an appeal to the Supreme Court.
As to whether Senator Browne was in favor of the decision, he failed to elaborate further, noting that the law should take its course.
He added that the defendants have the right to take an appeal to the Supreme Court in consistency with the law.
According to Senator Browne, the people of Maryland County do not only want Justice in the matter but to identify the actual killer of the later Charloe Musu.
“I will not criticize or applaud the decision, but all I can say is that we are looking to the outcome,” Senator Browne said.
The family of Cllr. Scott has raised suspicion over the juror’s decision, noting that they were tampered with.
Nathaniel S. Toe, Spokesman of the family told Judicial Reporters that the process was “criminalized” for the interest of others.
He insisted that the family would not rest until Justice prevailed.
“You cannot allow the killer to be outside there and hold innocent people. Gloria and others are innocent,” Mr. Toe stressed.
He alleged that the state bribed its way through the process to ensure that the jurors ruled in their favor.
Toe noted that the fact that Solicitor General, Cllr. Nyanati Tuan was relinquished from the case for attempting to tamper with the jurors speaks volumes about juror tampering.
At the same time, one of the defense Counsels, Former Chief Justice, Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison has expressed disappointment in the juror’s decision.
Cllr. Johnson said it was unfortunate that the trial jurors did not consider the evidence before them but decided to come down with a “premeditated verdict.”
“To me, their minds were made up. They were being instructed as to what decision to make,” she averred.
Cllr. Johnson further maintained that it was surprising for the jurors to make deliberation in five minutes, in a case that lasted for five months, viewing it as a show of “premeditated decision.”
She further asserted that the jurors could be bribed, stating that the defense would make its next determination for a retrial.
At the same time, Cllr. Allison informed me that the too many inconsistencies from the prosecution were sufficient enough to prove that Cllr. Scott and others should not be held guilty of the crime of murder, criminal conspiracy, and false alarm to law enforcement officers.
Lead Prosecution lawyer, and Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Swaliho Sesay sees his side’s victory as a win as a victory for both the victim and the state saying the prosecution was not just working on conviction but ensuring that Justice is served.
Cllr. Sesay said the evidence provided by the state and visitation to the crime scene was sufficient enough to prove a guilty verdict.
He said the defense presented doubt, misconception, and political insinuation during the trial, which clarified that the jurors were convenient to come down with a guilty verdict.
At the same time, Sesay added, that the issue raised about juror tampering was insulting to jurors, since the court did not find any juror tampering during the investigation.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Sesay believed it was just true that the act was committed and the defendants were liable for the crimes.
Meanwhile, the defense team has taken an exception to the juror’s decision to make a further determination as to go for a new trial or take an appeal to the Supreme Court.