St. Paul, MN — The jury that convicted Luke Brandon Scott, 29, on two counts of assault, making terroristic threats and false imprisonment decided Tuesday that there were aggravating factors involved in the crimes.
The charges for which Scott was found guilty resulted from his mistreatment of Caitlin Hodges the night of Sept. 26 and early Sept. 27. He was charged with two counts of kidnapping but was found not guilty of those charges.
Luke Brandon Scott, 29, offered no visible reaction as the convictions were read.
During closing arguments, prosecuting attorney Janice Barker said Hodges told Scott she no longer wanted to be intimate with him. Scott got angry and refused to let her leave his house, Barker said.
Hodges testified at trial that Scott smashed her teeth with a wine bottle, beat her, pointed a pellet gun at her head, threatened her with a knife and locked her in a dog kennel. Barker also described how Scott made her mop up spilled beer with her hair, dragged her by the hair, wrapped his arm around her throat, kicked her, hit her with a riding crop, and threw his own dog against a refrigerator.
Now, I’m not convinced that throwing a dog against a refrigerator can, technically, be considered injurious to Hodges, but it was damn mean to the dog.
According to Barker’s testimony, Scott also told Hodges, “I’m going to hang you from the basement and let you bleed slow,” He then reportedly told her to go “into the dog kennel because that’s where the bitches belong.”Hodges, 21, testified that Scott unlocked the door early Sept. 27 and that she walked to a SuperAmerica station to get help.
Barker decribed it as “…a night of terror, …a night of fear, …a night of degradation.”
Now I hope that they make it into a movie.
In contrast, Scott’s attorney, Leif Carlson, argued that the state had accused his client of “sensational, dark, ugly charges…”
Carlson said that Hodges was drinking heavily during the incident. According to Carlson, “it’s not hard to believe that she crawled into the dog kennel herself to sleep, as Scott testified.”
Actually, Leif, it kinda is.
Carlson blamed the broken tooth and bruising on Hodges falling down on a bottle and injuring herself. Scott also testified he wouldn’t let Hodges leave his house because he didn’t want her to drive drunk.
To this, the jury called bullshit. The jury decided instead that Scott was guilty and had, in fact, acted with aggravating factors. They were:
- lack of remorse;
- attempting to bribe Hodges by offering her $1,000 not to testify;
- violating a domestic abuse no-contact order by indirectly contacting the victim from jail;
- violating a civil order for protection the victim had obtained shortly after the crimes.