Columbia teen charged as adult in murder case | Crime

A judge on Monday certified a 17-year-old Columbia resident to face murder and drug charges as an adult in a fatal shooting in December, when the defendant was 16.

Navarro A. Scott has been charged with second-degree murder and distribution of a controlled substance. He will be transported from the Juvenile Justice Center, where he has been held since Dec. 22, to the Boone County Jail.

Scott now faces up to life imprisonment for the murder charge as opposed to commitment to the Missouri Division of Youth Services until he turns 21, though the latter is still a possibility.

Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider ruled Scott can be tried as an adult soon after a Monday afternoon hearing in which witnesses testified about Scott’s potential and his mild-mannered personality. Ruth McCluskey, chief juvenile officer for Boone and Callaway counties, supported Scott being certified to face trial, saying that given his age and the seriousness of the charges it is unclear if the Division of Youth Services could successfully rehabilitate him. She also said previous testimony about his maturity level shows that Scott should be tried as an adult.

By 5 p.m. Monday, Scott’s charges were listed on Case.net, Missouri’s online court records database.

Before McCluskey testified, Hickman High School Assistant Principal Jerome Sally said that despite a low grade-point average and 11 absences in his first semester as a junior, Scott was working to straighten out his life and transfer to Douglass High School. Sally said he was surprised when he heard what Scott was accused of.

“He’s one of the guys I rely on,” Sally told Boone County Assistant Public Defender Melissa Buchanan, Scott’s attorney, on cross-examination. “When I need something done, Navarro’s one of the guys I call on.”

Sally said he thought Scott could…

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