Charges have been dropped against a teenager who was being held in the double murder of his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend's grandmother and the attempted murder of her boyfriend, Los Angeles County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Justin Marquis Scott, 19, had been charged with capital murder in the Oct. 8 Inglewood double homicide. He was also charged with attempted murder.
"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.
Local news from across Southern California
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."
Surveillance video that Scott's attorney found shows the teen at a smoke shop in Compton at the time of the crime. He was also captured on surveillance at a CVS Pharmacy and a Chinese restaurant, both miles away from the crime scene.
Attorney Juliette Robinson said her team found the footage three hours before the businesses were scheduled to erase and re-record over the images.
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.
During the confrontation, Scott was believed to have fatally shot 18-year-old Crystallyn Nguyen and the 64-year-old grandmother of Nguyen’s boyfriend, Dora Dawson.
Dawson tried to protect her 22-year-old grandson, who survived the attack.
The crime remains under investigation by the Inglewood Police Department.
The Scott family is calling for an independent investigation into how the teen was wrongful arrested and charged. If he had been convicted, he could have faced the death penalty.
More Southern California Stories: