Scott found guilty in deaths of three

February 22, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

LIBERTY - Leon Scott of Creston was found to be mentally ill and guilty of three counts of second degree manslaughter and one count of first degree assault Friday.

He was on trial here because on Nov. 8, 2002, while high on anti-anxiety medicine, he crashed his car into one carrying two elderly couples returning from vacation on U.S. 127.

The jury recommended 50 years in prison and required that he be treated for his depression and borderline personality disorder. Final sentencing will be held at 1 p.m. March 22.

The accident killed three of the senior citizens --- Mary Reynolds, of Stanford; her husband, Raymond Reynolds, and Robert Miller, of Ohio--- and severely injured another, Mary Reynolds' sister, Elizabeth Thompson, of Ohio.


The jury recommended he receive 10 years for each of the deaths and 20 years for the assault. Because the jury found him to be mentally ill, Scott would have to serve his time in a correctional hospital until a psychologist found him to be competent or until his sentence is finished.

The Reynolds' daughter, Jennifer Miller, said, "I wasn't pleased with the verdict, but I was pleased with the sentence."

She and her brother, Jeff Reynolds, testified before the sentencing.

Mary Reynolds was a middle school English teacher, and Raymond Reynolds was a high school counselor in Pulaski County. Both were active in Gideons International.

Their children talked about how more than 1,500 people attended the funeral, each talking about how the Reynolds had touched their lives.

"My dad was just a giant teddy bear," Jennifer Miller said in a telephone interview later.

Scott, 41, swallowed more than 100 Kolopin pills, attempting suicide after his wife, Carolyn Scott, left him. He found her and their two boys at his sister-in-law's double-wide mobile home in Moreland. While there he swallowed the pills, then refused to wait for the ambulance and drove towards U.S. 127.

Scott was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by a state-employed forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Candace Walker. She testified Friday that the illness caused him to have an over-important emphasis on his relationship with his wife, Carolyn Scott, and their marriage, which she described as toxic. She said that borderlines react "intensely to separation."

Their troubles began, Walker said, when the couple became swingers, having consensual sex with other couples.

The failing marriage and Carolyn Scott's threats to leave him had caused him to make suicide threats and he had several stays in mental wards of hospitals.

The couple is now separated.

Scott, who wore a white cotton shirt and navy slacks, cried as Walker testified.

After Scott attempted suicide in jail, he was evaluated by Walker for five weeks at Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange.

Scott had several other stays in hospitals for suicide attempts or threats. Walker said that over time, his wife would try to leave and he would threaten suicide, go to the hospital and the marriage would be rectified.

Walker said that Scott was not psychotic, which means out of contact with reality. She said he understood what he was doing, but that, like borderlines, he was probably only thinking of himself, his pain and the person he felt was responsible, his wife.

"To me his illness was important ..., but I do not think the illness rose to the level of legal insanity," she said.

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