An Alabama jury found a white man guilty of fatally shooting an unarmed Black teen who was away for his life.
Jonathan Scott, 52, was convicted of manslaughter for the June 21, 2016 murder of 16-year-old Mustafa Bearfield. Scott said he began shooting at Bearfield after the teen allegedly stole a lunch box from his bread delivery truck outside a convenience store, reported AL.com.
In court, Scott told the jury he pulled out his gun and tried to scare Bearfield into dropping the lunch box by firing warning shots over his head. However, the last shot fired hit the back of Bearfield's head, killing him at the scene.
The jury was able to find Scott guilty after less than two hours of deliberations.
Scott will be held in the Madison County Jail pending sentencing. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to the jury, Scott acted "recklessly" by firing at Bearfield even though he knew he could potentially kill the teen.
When Scott testified on his one behalf, he said he yelled for Bearfield to drop the lunch box, but the teen gave him a "screw you look."
"I told him drop it or I'll shoot," Scott testified.
Police recordings from the scene show the aftermath of the tragic killing. When Bearfield fell dead on the grass, Scott attempted to perform CPR on the 16-year-old.
"It was just a cooler. It was not worth a kid's life. He was just a boy. Why did I even try to scare him?" Scott asked during a police interrogation.
Circuit Judge Chris Comer said he will schedule sentencing later.
(Photo: Madison County Detention Center)
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