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San Francisco Criminal Defense Blog

San Francisco Man Convicted of Murdering Victim at Homeless Shelter

Rickey Leon Scott, a 64-year-old San Francisco man, was found guilty of a February 2012 murder in which Scott allegedly fatally stabbed a man at a homeless shelter.  Scott was convicted of the crime on Friday, April 12.

According to a news article at The San Francisco Appeal, the victim was at a homeless shelter in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood when the incident took place.  The victim, 44-year-old Abdul Smith, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he later died.  Scott allegedly stabbed Smith in the heart; he was convicted of first-degree murder.  Prosecutors in the case claim that the stabbing occurred during a fight between the two men at the shelter.

After fleeing the scene, Smith was apprehended approximately 10 minutes later at Bryant and Fourth Streets, where he was arrested.  The knife Scott used in the stabbing was found hidden on a rooftop nearby by investigators after hours of searching.  Witnesses who were present at the shelter when the altercation occurred helped to identify Scott as the stabber.

Scott was represented in court by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who said in news reports that Scott had been wrongly convicted of the stabbing death.  Adachi stated that Scott had been attacked by the younger man (the victim), and was attempting to defend himself as a disabled senior citizen.  He did not feel that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support a guilty verdict.

Scott will be sentenced later this month, and may face 26 years to life in prison according to authorities.

San Francisco murder attorneys realize that there are countless individuals serving time in California prisons for crimes they did not commit.  While we don’t know if Scott was acting in self-defense, it would be a tragedy for a 64-year-old man to spend the rest of his life behind bars if he is indeed innocent.

Anyone who has been arrested for or charged with first-degree murder or any violent crime such as homicide or manslaughter must consult with an experienced San Francisco criminal defense lawyer right away.  Without the legal support and guidance of a skilled attorney, accused individuals’ freedom, reputation, and future are in serious jeopardy.

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