LIMA — A Lima man who faced the possibility of life in prison will likely serve less than a decade behind bars for the 2017 shooting death of Shannon Scott following a deal with prosecutors.
Marquez Pritchett, 34, who was indicted on a charge of murder in Scott’s death, pleaded guilty Thursday to Bill of Information charging him with a first-degree felony count of voluntary manslaughter. The count included a specification for the use of a firearm that carries with it a mandatory three-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors and Pritchett’s attorney, Brad Hubbell, stipulated to a seven-year sentence on the manslaughter charge and Judge Jeffrey Reed said he would honor that agreement. That non-mandatory sentence will begin after the firearm spec is served. He will be eligible to request a judicial release after serving five years of that sentence.
Pritchett was indicted by a grand jury in June of last year on charges of murder, an unclassified felony, and having weapons under disability, a felony of the third degree.
While few details of the events surrounding Scott’s death have been made public, his widow said in court Thursday that she hopes to someday learn more about her husband’s death.
Linda Scott was merciful as she addressed Pritchett prior to sentencing.
“I forgive you,” she said to the young man she has known since he was a little boy. “I’m not sure what happened that night, but you took a loved one from me and my family. It took a lot out of us. But God has the final say-so on judgment here. I’m not mad, but I’m very upset that this happened. Maybe one day, Marquez, you will explain to me what really happened and why.”
Reed told Scott’s widow he was “impressed with your attitude of forgiveness; maybe the world needs a little more of that.”
Pritchett said little prior to sentencing other than to offer his apologies to Scott’s family and his own. “I’m truly sorry for what happened,” he said.
Family members discovered the body of the 47-year-old Scott on June 11, 2017, after he had not been heard from for several days. Scott was found in his living room at 621 Michael Ave., Lima. He had been shot several times with a handgun, police said.
Pritchett fled the area following the shooting and was arrested in Arizona in September of 2019. After contesting his extradition back to Allen County for several months, Pritchett was flown back to Ohio and has remained jailed under a $1 million bond since that time. He underwent an evaluation last summer at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton and was deemed competent to stand trial. That trial was scheduled to begin next week.
According to court documents one person who knew Scott said the shooting victim had told him he (Scott) purchased cocaine from Pritchett using counterfeit money. The witness also told police he had seen Pritchett carrying a .380 caliber handgun on previous occasions. Investigators found several spent .380 bullet casings at the murder scene.