“In his motion…Defendant further claims that the stereo system was still in the car; therefore, he opines, Mr. Scott’s claim that he removed the stereo cannot be believed. Defendant appears to be resorting to what may colloquially be described as “alternative facts” in this claim, as that was resolved adversely to Defendant by the 2010 order, where Judge Spoto held that Defendant himself rendered sworn trial testimony that stereo equipment was missing from the car.”
It should be noted that photos of the crime scene have revealed that the stereo unit itself was still in the car, though the rear speakers had been removed. And the location of Jeremy Scott’s fingerprints was not in agreement with his testimony.
Refusing to acknowledge recent findings, Avalon discusses the results of a 2010 hearing in which Judge Keith Spoto stated that “There was no evidence that Mr. Scott had any connection to the victim as a friend, acquaintance or in any other capacity.”
It is common knowledge, however, to those familiar with the case that Jeremy Scott and Michelle Schofield did, in fact, know each other and were in the same group of friends prior to Michelle marrying Leo.
Regarding the same 2010 trial, Avalon suggests that Jeremy Scott’s violent background and criminal history are inadmissible, but discusses allegations of domestic violence transpiring between Leo and Michelle prior to her death.
After filing the State’s Response, Avalon’s office filed a motion to subpoena Jeremy Scott’s medical records, and motions to transport Scott “for the purpose of an investigation.” This “investigation” would be a discussion between Avalon and Scott without Leo’s defense team being present.
In various motions debating the State’s ability to hold a private investigation of Jeremy Scott, it was revealed that Avalon’s office “inadvertently had transport orders signed by a different judge not assigned to the case to transport [Jeremy Scott] to the county jail for a ‘confidential investigation.’”
Avalon argues that because the orders were signed by the other judge before Leo filed a Motion to Strike, “the Defendant’s Motion to Strike therefore is moot.”
In the same response, Avalon further suggests that “a death qualified judge should hear this matter given that it originally was a death case, and the death penalty is a possibility on retrial.” She further suggests that the case “will be very litigious” and expresses concerns that the case will create “an undue burden upon a busy general felony trial division,” and motions that the case be transferred to “the specialized division set aside for capital homicides.”
In a thinly-veiled threat, Avalon writes, “Should Defendant be awarded a trial de novo as a result of this litigation, the undersigned does not have the authority to rule out the possibility that the State may attempt to seek the ultimate penalty again…”
“I’m in a dogfight again.” – Leo Schofield
Leo Schofield’s case has now become a war of attrition. One party desperately seeking justice, while the other attempts to drown new evidence in procedure, bureaucracy, and just a touch of malice.
Leo, now 51, has been in prison longer than he has been a free man. He has lived the majority of his life behind bars, haunted by a conviction that has defined his existence. A conviction that prevents him from living a normal life with his wife Crissie, whom he met through his assistance in a prison program that teaches inmates life skills, and his daughter, Ashley Nicole.
Imagine, if you can, that you have been locked in prison for almost 30 years for a crime you didn’t commit: the murder of a loved one. Their memory stained by loss and twisted by injustice. How would you respond?
“Part of me wants to be angry, and yet I pray that God gives them wisdom, something, anything…” – Leo Schofield
Leo has been granted an evidentiary hearing, in which Judge J. Kevin Abdoney will examine the new evidence to determine whether a retrial is warranted. A pre-trial status conference has been scheduled for March 15, 2017, in which the court will likely set a date for the evidentiary hearing.
USA Herald contacted the State Attorney’s office, but we were informed that they could not comment on a pending case.
**Update 3/2/17** The USA Herald just received a report that Convicted Serial Killer Jeremy Scott threatened to kill a female nurse just a few months ago in prison. He was written up and promised to act out on this threat.
How Can You Help?
Concerned readers can help Leo Schofield and his family in the following ways:
Sign a Petition:
This petition on Change.Org will be submitted to Polk County State Attorney Brian Haas on Leo’s behalf:
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