Man indicted on murder charges for 1999 slaying

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 8, 2007

Greenville police believe they've solved the 1999 execution-style murder of a Mississippi man whose body was found in a wrecked Buick in the woods along Kolb City Rd.

Jessie Scott, 27, has been indicted by a Butler County Grand Jury for the murder of John Wayne Smith of Pascagoula, Miss. the night of October 28, 1999. Scott is in the Butler County Jail on $100,000 bond.

&#8220We anticipate a conviction,” said Butler County District Attorney John Andrews. &#8220This is one of the few unsolved murders in the county. We thought we had enough evidence and the Grand Jury agreed.”

Scott's arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in front of Circuit Judge Edward McFerrin, according to Andrews.

Police Chief Lonzo Ingram applauded Andrews and the District Attorney's office.

&#8220We're glad that John and his staff were able to take all of the hard work our investigations team put into this case and get an indictment,” Ingram said. &#8220We're glad we were able to make an arrest in this case.”

Greenville police allege Scott shot Smith point-blank with a .38 caliber handgun while the two men were traveling on Kolb City Rd. The vehicle, a 1991 four-door Buick, left the road and crashed into a tree approximately 150 feet away where it was found by Greenville police later that night.

Smith was sitting in the driver's seat and had slumped over onto the passenger side. Officers initially thought it was an accident, until noticing the gunshot wound and blood on the back of Smith's head.

An autopsy conducted by the Department of Forensic Sciences confirmed that Smith's death was a homicide.

Chief Investigator Lt. Randy Courtney said he believed Smith's death was drug-related. He said Smith had prior convictions on drug charges, as does Scott.