Chester County murder suspect tried to hide firearm training from military, cellmate says

Chester County murder suspect tried to hide firearm training from military, cellmate says

CHESTER, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — On day six of the double-murder trial against Gene Alexzander Scott, a Chester County inmate who shared a cell with the defendant took the stand.

Witness David James testified Scott shared explicit details of how he allegedly killed his grandparents Gene and Billie Rogers. 

“He told me that him and his friend, they drove down to Richburg, to try to get more money from his grandfather because his grandfather had gave him almost $100,000 to start a security company,” said James.

James said he and Scott grew close while they shared a cell at the Chester County Detention Center for about five months. They often stayed up late talking about their cases and life in general. James testified Scott often asked him legal questions.

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Eventually, Scott opened up about his pending case saying he decided to kill his grandfather Gene Rogers, and great-grandmother Billie Rogers for money.

“When his grandfather wouldn’t give him more money, he ended up shooting them,” James testified.

James said Scott went into further detail saying he knew from watching crime TV shows that people get caught because of their cellphones and using debit or credit cards during the crimes.

James testified that Scott told him investigators didn’t have any cellphone data, they’d found other DNA at the crime scene and none of the firearms traced back to him.

He said he didn’t know Evan Webb or John Cravener, two men who prosecutors say were also in some way involved with the crimes.

“He told me that one thing he messed up on was that when they questioned him, to begin with, he lied and said he wasn’t a beneficiary of the insurance — that his grandfather had a $700,000 policy that he was the beneficiary of,” James told the jury.

He says Scott had three different stories about the woman at the home with his grandfather. James sometimes called her his grandfather’s friend, his girlfriend, and eventually said it was his grandfather’s mom, and Scott admitting to shooting her too.

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“He shot into the floor, into the roof, or right at the roof,” James said. “Because when he was in the Marines or the Army, he was worried because he had firearms training and he didn’t want it to look like somebody knew what they were doing.”

James said Scott told him they tossed the murder weapon out as they drove back to his apartment in Columbia. Gunshot residue from Scott’s hands was tested – but documents show the results came back negative.

A trace evidence expert with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says residue stays on your hands for up to six hours; residue on clothes lasts longer.

But the prosecution noted, if the alleged murders happened the day before the bodies were found, there more than likely wouldn’t be gunshot residue on the shooter’s hands.

“It remains on there until it’s actively removed,” they said. “Sometimes the hands are a better evidence.”

If Scott is convicted, he faces life in prison.

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