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Leesburg killing still under investigation (with video )

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

LEESBURG -- In what the police chief says is the first murder case in Leesburg in at least 37 years, a 54-year-old man has been charged with the shooting death of his wife.

Police Chief Charles Moore said Anthony Scott of 183 Old Smithville Road has been charged with malice murder in the shooting death of his wife, Cathy Scott, also 54, and is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. today in Lee County Magistrate Court.

Cathy Scott was shot four times, with the shrapnel from the shootings leading investigators to initially believe she was also stabbed with an object such as a screwdriver. She was alive when emergency medical personnel arrived and died later at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Moore said.

At Scott's initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Magistrate Jim Thurman read from the affadavit used to secure the murder warrant.

According to that document, Cathy Scott was shot with two different handguns, with two .22 caliber bullets fired into her head, one into her arm and another into her torso.

At the hearing, Scott appeared calm and reserved, speaking only to say that he couldn't afford an attorney. As he was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff's deputies, Scott threw a prolonged glance toward family members who had come to his hearing.

He was taken back to the Lee County Jail, where he will await formal arraignment before a superior court judge and enter a plea. Prosecutors asked jail officials to put Scott on suicide watch "based on statements he has given investigators."

The Scotts both worked at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and had been married about 25 years, Moore said.

Moore described the Leesburg neighborhood in which the shooting occurred as quiet, and neighbors were shocked at the violence. Police were called at 7:06 p.m. when one of the Scotts' neighbors heard gunshots.

Moore said there had been no prior calls to the Scotts' residence.

Moore, who joined the Leesburg Police Department in 1974, said this is the first murder case within the city limits since he has been with the department.

Louis Lamb, an assistant district attorney in the Southwestern Judicial Circuit, said after Scott's hearing Tuesday that the investigation into Cathy Scott's death is ongoing, adding that her body is scheduled for autopsy later this week.

Lamb said that it's too early in the investigation to make a determination on whether to pursue the death penalty against Anthony Scott.

"The investigation is ongoing. We haven't made any charging decisions at all. The only warrant that has been taken at this time is a single warrant for murder," Lamb said. "When the investigation is concluded, we'll review that with the agents who were involved. We'll review the evidence and make a determination on how to charge the case."