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ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis man has been charged with fatally beating his wife just hours after a nonprofit posted his bail.
Samuel Lee Scott, 54, was also served the same day — April 9 — with a restraining order telling him to stay away from Marcia Johnson, according to court records.
Samuel Scott , of St. Louis, was charged with murder in the beating death of his wife. He attacked her the day he was bailed out of jail on a domestic violence charge by a nonprofit group, authorities say.
Instead, Scott brutally beat her that night at their home in St. Louis, according to a murder charge filed Tuesday. Johnson, also 54, died Sunday, five days after the attack.
Scott had hit his wife in January and threatened to kill her when she tried to leave their house, court records say. Scott told her he “might as well finish what (he) started since (she) was going to contact the police,” according to the documents.
St. Louis police entered Scott into a database as “wanted” for questioning about a misdemeanor assault charge, and arrested him April 4. Prosecutors charged him with misdemeanor assault the next day. Judge Calea Stovall-Reid set his bail at $5,000.
Three days later, Johnson obtained the order of protection. Scott was served on April 9 with the order forbidding him from entering his wife’s home and being within 300 feet of her. That same day, the St. Louis Bail Project posted his bail, and Scott went home around 7:45 p.m., according to court documents.
About 11 p.m., a friend found Johnson bleeding at the home, in the 3800 block of Wisconsin Avenue. She was unconscious, had a broken eye socket and several broken ribs, and “was bruised from head to toe,” according to court documents. Police said she was found nearly dead with severe head trauma.
Due to the severity of her injuries, she was unable to tell police what had happened, according to court documents.
She died Sunday. Preliminary findings show Johnson died from blunt force trauma, according to court documents.
Scott admitted that he struck Johnson, according to the documents.
On Thursday, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke Scott’s bail in the earlier domestic assault case, which Judge Elizabeth Hogan granted. He was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday with murder.
The St. Louis Bail Project is part of a national nonprofit that bails out people before they have been convicted of a crime, if they cannot afford to post bail. The group has been operating in St. Louis since January 2018.
Its website says it hires “Bail Disruptors” in cities where it operates to find people to bail out.
“We also look for ties in a community that can lend support,” according to the website. “If they have previous involvement with the criminal legal system, we look at their history of court appearances. The Bail Project does not discriminate by charge.”
Scott had been sentenced to probation on a drug charge in 2003. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for assault in 1998, and 236 days for drug possession in 1997.
Mike Milton, site manager of the St. Louis Bail Project, said in a statement Monday: “Nobody wants to see something like this happen, but it is crucial to remember that bail didn’t cause this tragedy — Mr. Scott, a 54-year-old father, was charged with a misdemeanor, and if he’d just been wealthy enough to afford his bail he would have been free in either case. “Moments like this are devastating, but it’s important not to lose sight of the larger injustices of cash bail and the need for reform.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner said in a statement Tuesday that she plans to meet with Bail Project leaders to “help them better understand the risks to victims and witnesses when posting bail for any type of domestic violence cases … .”