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Judge orders jail for shooter set to 'walk'

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Marquis Rashawn Scott

Marquis Rashawn Scott

A Billings man who arrived in court Thursday expecting to receive a suspended sentence for shooting into a South Side apartment was instead taken to jail.

District Judge Susan Watters told Marquis Rashawn Scott that she would not follow a joint recommendation from prosecutors and his defense attorney for a five-year suspended sentence because of his criminal record and the serious nature of the shooting.

Scott, 32, appeared stunned, throwing his hands to his face when the judge explained her decision to impose a 10-year sentence to the state Department of Corrections, with five years suspended, for felony criminal endangerment.

Watters said she would not condone Scott's conduct by following the plea agreement. She described Scott as a man with "violent tendencies."

Scott's criminal record includes violent misdemeanors and three prior felony convictions, including two convictions for assaulting a peace officer, Watters said.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the courtroom a short time later after Scott interrupted the court proceedings in an attempt to plead his case further. He also told the judge he had to stand because he felt faint.

The case began on Aug. 2, 2010, when Scott and a 16-year-old boy pulled up outside an apartment at 3024 Fourth Ave. at 3 a.m. The teen gave Scott a .357-caliber handgun, which Scott intended to use to commit a robbery.

Instead, Scott began firing at the apartment building. A 17-year-old boy playing video games in one apartment was hit in the stomach.

Several adults and children were also in the apartment. A woman and her child were in adjacent apartment that was also hit by gunfire, although no other injuries were reported.

The injured teenager, Edwin Johnson, later was flown to a Denver hospital for treatment.

Scott was initially charged with aggravated assault and two counts of criminal endangerment. The case bogged down, however, when Johnson declined to cooperate with law enforcement.

Scott later pleaded guilty to the single criminal endangerment count in exchange for the dismissal of the other two felony charges.

Scott spent 468 days in jail before he was released a few months ago after he admitted to the single felony as part of the plea agreement.

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