Prosecutor says man’s feud with sister’s boyfriend led to Zion murder

Terrance Scott turned a dislike of his sister’s boyfriend into murder at a small gathering in a Zion home last fall, a prosecutor said Tuesday at the opening of Scott’s trial on first-degree murder charges.

“This defendant didn’t like his sister’s boyfriend, so he shot him in the head, killing him almost instantly,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Newman told the jury in his opening statement.

According to police, Prentiss Carter, 42, of Zion, was shot and killed in the early morning hours Nov. 9, 2013 while a small group was drinking and playing cards in a Zion house. Four young children were also home asleep when the shooting occurred, police said.

Providing a glimpse into the state’s case, Newman said evidence will show the presence of gunshot residue on Scott’s hands after his arrest on the night of the shooting.

Scott, 25, of Ypsilanti, Mich., also went after witnesses that night “with that same gun,” but the witnesses got away, Newman said.

According to Newman, witnesses said it was apparent Scott didn’t like Carter and words were exchanged.

The shooting occurred in the living room while the homeowner and her boyfriend were talking in their bedroom, according to officials. Newman said Carter was shot once in the head from a range of about six inches.

After the homeowner and her boyfriend heard a gunshot, Newman said they went from the bedroom into a bathroom and the boyfriend jumped out of a window. The boyfriend then saw Scott outside coming toward him with a gun before he ran away and called police, Newman said.

Scott was arrested walking in the area that night after a Zion police officer allegedly recognized him as looking similar to the suspect described in the shooting, officials said.

Defense attorney Randie Bruno told the jury that the sequence of events that night “was not quite as clear-cut as Mr. Newman would have you believe.”

She said the jury would not “hear from an eyewitness” in the case and would not see a weapon entered into evidence. She also said gun residue tests are not proof that someone did or did not fire a gun, noting that residue can get on people who are nearby when a gun is fired, and can be wiped off by someone who shoots a weapon.

“Gunshot residue is not conclusive proof,” Bruno said. “You’ll see that there is no evidence that my client is guilty of a crime, let alone first-degree murder.”

The trial, expected to continue Wednesday, started several hours later than planned Tuesday after a witness in the case did not appear as ordered. The identity of the witness who was late and the reason for the delay was not revealed in open court in front of the jury.


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