Mother charged with killing son
A Russellville woman was arrested Monday and charged with the murder of her six year-old son.
Christie Michelle Scott, 30, has been indicted on three alternative counts of capital murder. If convicted she will face a sentence of life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
The indictment accuses Scott of setting fire to her family's home at 180 Signore Drive in the early morning hours of Aug. 16.
Six-year old Mason Scott, a first grader at Russellville's West Elementary School was killed in the blaze, which started in his bedroom shortly after 3 a.m. the day of the fire.
Christie Scott and her four year-old son Noah were unharmed in the fire.
Her husband, Jeremy Scott, was out of town on a business trip. Officials said that Jeremy Scott is not a suspect in the case.
Scott was indicted last week and turned herself into local authorities Monday morning. Judge Terry Dempsey denied bond and she is now being held in the Franklin County Jail.
During her bond hearing Monday, testimony revealed that Scott took out an additional life insurance policy on her son the day before the fire.
Under cross-examination from District Attorney Joey Rushing, Scott's father, Don Bray, testified that his daughter had been connected to at least three previous fires. Bray simply stated "yes" when asked if he knew of the other cases.
Bray and Jeremy Scott both asked Dempsey to set a bond in the case which would have allowed Scott to stay out of prison for the time being.
State and local authorities began looking into the cause of the fire shortly after Mason Scott was found in his bedroom floor on the morning of the fire.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett and Rushing declined to talk about specific evidence in the case.
"We feel like we have sufficient proof, and that's what the indictment is based on," Rushing said.
Defense attorney Robert Tuten, of Huntsville, argued that Scott should be released on bail and posed no threat to herself or the community.
Bray described his daughter as a loving mother who wanted nothing but the best for her children.
Jeremy Scott said he wanted her released on bond because "she didn't do it."
Capital murder charges can be filed when a person is accused of killing someone while committing another felony, such as arson. It can also be put into place in the event that a particularly "heinous, atrocious or cruel" crime has occurred.
The three alternative counts would give jurors options should they consider Scott guilty during the trial.
The first count accuses Scott of intentionally killing her son by starting a fire for the purpose of monetary gain.
Count two accuses Scott of intentionally killing her son as a result of committing first-degree arson, which also is a Class A felony.
The third count accuses Scott of intentionally killing someone who is less than 14 years old.
She will be arraigned on Oct. 28.
"Anytime someone loses a child it is difficult for everyone in the community," Hargett said.