By Katherine Longjohn
RIVERSIDE, CA – After days of deliberation, the jury in the murder trial of Thomas Ryan Scott reached a verdict Wednesday, finding Scott guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting of a teen on Aug. 28, 2016.
In a proceeding that went over the time allotted, the jury could not find Scott guilty of second-degree murder, but did come back with guilty of the lesser homicide charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Additionally, the jury found it true that Scott personally used a firearm in commission of the crime and subsequently found him guilty of violating the penal code which prohibits felons from possessing firearms.
Scott represented himself in the alleged shooting death Luis Quintanar. Scott pleaded not guilty, despite the prosecution’s claim he confessed. Scott maintained the police are prosecuting him just to get a conviction, adding that whoever killed Quintanar could have done it out of “self-defense.”
Before moving forward to scheduling the sentencing date, Judge Matthew Perantoni turned to the matter of Scott’s prior convictions to which Scott waived his right to a jury trial and a court trial.
Scott admitted to, on or about March 11, 2009, being convicted of the serious felony of taking a vehicle without consent with criminal street gang activity for which he served a separate prison term.
As a result, Scott will enter sentencing with three enhancements.
The first enhancement is for committing an offense resulting in a felony conviction within a period of five years of a previous felony.
The second enhancement is for being convicted of a serious crime (voluntary manslaughter) while being previously convicted of a serious crime (taking a car without consent) in the state of California which will result in a five-year enhancement to his sentence.
The third and final enhancement is considered a “strike prior” which is added to those who are convicted of a serious or violent felony while already having a conviction for a serious or violent felony. This enhancement has the effect of doubling Scott’s sentence.
Judge Perantoni made it clear to Scott that the court is required to issue these enhancements in sentencing, but that the court may gain discretion in waiving these priors if Scott chooses to file certain motions, such as a Romero motion (defendant asks the judge to remove a prior strike).