Jury Unable to Reach Decision after 2 Days in Riverside Teen Murder Trial

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By Ava Schwartzapfel

RIVERSIDE, CA – The jury in the Thomas Ryan Scott murder trial told the judge Tuesday here in Riverside County Superior Court that they cannot come to a unanimous decision on the two most serious counts—murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Scott is representing himself in the alleged shooting death on Aug. 28, 2021, of 17-year-old Luis Quintanar. Scott pleaded not guilty, despite the prosecution’s claim he confessed. Scott maintains the police are prosecuting him just to get a conviction, adding that whoever killed Quintanar could have done it out of “self-defense.”

The jury has been deliberating for parts of two days, and Tuesday sent Judge Matthew Perantoni the following message, “We are unable to agree whether the defendant is guilty of second-degree murder. We are hereby informing you of that. What do we do now?”

Following the presentation of this concern on behalf of the jury, Judge Perantoni confirmed with the foreperson that the jury had taken multiple polls and votes, asking, “Since you began polling until now, has there been any movement of any of the jurors?”

The foreperson explained that there had been “slight” movement, but they are still unable to reach a unanimous decision regarding both the second-degree murder charge and the involuntary manslaughter
charge.

Judge Perantoni then inquired about the jurors’ ability to reach a conclusion regarding possession of a weapon by a felon charge, and the foreperson explained that they did agree about that charge but have yet to fill out the official verdict form.

The judge then asked the foreperson, “Is it your judgment that, at this point, the jury is helplessly deadlocked?”

The foreperson replied, “It would appear so.”

The judge then asked the juror, “If the court were to ask the jury to continue deliberations do you feel that there is a reasonable probability that the jury might arrive at a verdict?”

The foreperson explained that this is an extremely difficult question to answer, yet based on what he had observed thus far, he was “not sure” whether or not the jury would be able to reach a verdict, but would attempt to do so.

Judge Perantoni explained that the foreperson’s inability to state that further deliberations would not assist in this decision making process, meant the court was requesting the jury continue deliberations, noting, “Please continue deliberations at this time.”

With this request, the judge provided the jury with a few suggestions, including that they do not hesitate to re-examine their views and that they may want to take a new approach to the situation to get a new perspective.

The jury was then sent back to deliberate.

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