Jermane Scott was arrested on December 9th 1996, for the murder of Bertram Thomas 6 days previous. Other charges directed at Scott included credit card fraud and the handling of stolen goods. Whilst these charges at first appear benign, they are extremely important to the makeup of this case. I shall elaborate further shortly.
Upon arrest Scott freely admitted to fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of stolen goods but pleaded not guilty to the murder of Thomas. After a trial lasting barely one week, Scott was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
‘I willingly admit that I wasn’t an angel when I was in society and squandered many opportunities to live life the right way’ – Jermane Scott April 2015
Scott, 19 years old at the time of his arrest was ‘heavy in the street life’ by his own admission. The gang culture that he was party to, led to him coming in to the possession of a stolen credit card. The credit card in question was that of the murder victim Bertram Thomas. According to Scott, the credit card had been given to him by two vague acquaintances and Scott along with one of them had used the card to acquire goods. More importantly, Scott was the only one charged with credit card fraud and possession of stolen goods. As for the other two youths involved? They became the State’s ‘Star Witnesses’.
Between the time of Scott’s arrest in December of 1996 and his trial the following September, no DNA evidence was submitted by the prosecution that linked him to the crime scene. No murder weapon was recovered, neither was there any evidence produced that Scott had ever met the victim. The only evidence put forward that Scott had been accountable for the murder of Thomas was testimony given by Michael Enis and Terry Portman. Enis testified that he was involved in the fraudulent use of a credit card, and in turn possession of stolen goods via the use of the victim’s credit card. During trial Enis testified to having known Thomas for approximately eight to nine years but stated that he had not seen the victim for almost a year prior to the fateful evening of Thomas’s death. However during cross examination by Scott’s defence attorneys it was established that both Enis and Portman had both spent time with Thomas in the weeks and months leading up to his death.
From Enis’ arrest on the 9th of December through Grand Jury Trial in the April of 97 to his final testimony at the trial of Jermane Scott that September of the same year, the story that he told changed dramatically. This can be seen via the trial transcripts that I have shared towards the end of this article.
I feel the need to break stride at this juncture, not to confuse but to clarify. Wherever possible it is of the utmost importance to aid the reader with all source materials I have at my disposal. Everything that I have access to, I want you to have access to. The only times that this may not occur would be for confidentiality reasons. By this, I mean materials given to me by parties that do not wish to be named. However, where possible I will still provide these sources but in a redacted form. I will give each reader open access to my sources. Much of this, regarding Jermane’s case will come via drop box. Nothing that I have will be hidden. You have free reign. Transparency is key. I shall return to this point later on in the article regarding obtaining public records or more pertinently, not being able to obtain public records.
A matter of weeks previous to the death of Thomas, Scott had been arrested by the same officers relating to a crime that he did not commit. Shortly after the correct suspect was apprehended and charged with the crime. The officers had to apologise to Scott for this and by his own admission, Jermane was a ‘cheeky bastard’ and gave them plenty of grief over the wrongful arrest. Scott was not well liked and partly this was of his own doing. However, this a murderer does not make. Prior to Scott’s conviction for murder he had no previous criminal record. Enis and Portman meanwhile certainly did have. Only some months prior both had been charged with assault and robbery of a citizen who lived in the very same street as Thomas. Both were still on probation during Scott’s trial. I’m not suggesting that Enis or Portman were necessarily involved in the death of Thomas. However, I am strongly suggesting that they were both deep in the pockets of law enforcement. Remember, no charges held against either for credit card fraud or possession of stolen goods. Why am I not surprised?
The jury convicted Scott solely on the basis of Enis and Portman’s testimony along with the fact that law enforcement actively chose not to look at any other suspects. I could go further into trial testimony and police files relating to Scott’s case and in future articles I most certainly will. All that has been released is contained at the end of this article. For the rest of this article though I want to look at Public Records. Perhaps I should say, not so Public Records.
Justice should not be measured in dollars and cents, nor pounds and pence. Without a doubt the currency of a fair trial is clearly measured by such means on far too many an occasion. I will be breaking down the story of Jermane Scott’s injustice over a number of articles not just for reasons of growing exposure and the depth to which his story has sunk but to allow for play. For each and every case that appears dead in the water, life can be breathed into what seems a lifeless body. By play I mean concourse. I want discussion. I welcome debate. If I am adjudged to have been unfair, I wish to hear about it. Over the remainder of this article I’m going to be handing out some harsh criticism. The attitude of certain Government agencies will be questioned. I should not have to remind them that they are in place to offer assistance to their public. It is their role to facilitate the public within the confines of the law.
A link to the contribution site and my drop box, which contains all the Public Records released is listed below.
Part 2 of this new Series here:
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