Jury finds man guilty of manslaughter for killing scuffed shoes


A 22-year-old Tennessee man who fatally shot a member of the Little Rock fraternity in a dispute that began over scuffed shoes has committed manslaughter, a Pulaski County jury ruled Thursday, ending a four-day trial ordering Darean Deshun Moore to serve the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Moore admitted to shooting 25-year-old Kentarius Montrell “Peanut” Scott, though he couldn’t bring himself to tell jurors directly when he testified. Moore said he committed no crime, telling jurors he only shot Scott for protection during an August 2020 confrontation in the Shackelford Road parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant.

Moore spent about 30 minutes testifying Thursday, saying he tried to get away from Scott, but the older man kept coming after him, even pushing Moore’s brother away for the ride. ‘reach.

“I fought back,” Moore said, telling jurors he had given up on fighting Scott due to a bad shoulder.

Pressed by Assistant District Attorney Tracye Mosley — she asked five or six times — to describe how he came to shoot Scott, Moore did not say he fired his gun, stating only that he “s was forbidden”. The closest admission the prosecutor received was when Scott agreed with her that he had pulled the trigger twice.

Moore was charged with first-degree murder, accused of deliberately killing unarmed Scott when he could have safely walked away from the conflict. The jury could also have found Moore guilty of negligent homicide or second-degree murder, a crime that involves engaging in a potentially fatal dangerous activity.

The nine women and three men on the jury deliberated nearly five hours to convict Moore of manslaughter, which is a finding that he acted recklessly when he shot Scott twice, once in head and left shoulder.

Scott and Moore were in the same group at the restaurant that night for a gathering of members of Philander Smith College’s Kappa Alpha Psi chapter to watch the basketball playoffs. Scott was a member while Moore was a visitor, brought by his older brother who was a member.

Reportedly, Scott and Moore had an argument inside the restaurant after Scott stepped on Moore’s shoes. Prosecutors said the misstep was an accident for which Scott apologized, while Moore’s defenders described it as deliberate provocation. The men agreed to settle their differences on the outside with a fight with Moore which quickly receded.

Scott died in the parking lot, and there was no doubt that Moore had killed him. The significance of what Moore did next has been much discussed.

Moore told jurors he fled the parking lot in a panic when other people in the Twin Peaks parking lot began shooting. Moore said he hoped to find a safe place where he could get help, including finding a lawyer.

To that end, he threw down his gun and the distinctive pink jacket he was wearing and arranged an Uber ride, intending to join his family in Forrest City. Dropped off at a North Little Rock truck stop, he lied about his identity to police who tracked him down, Moore said.

That robbery, which took Moore 23 miles away, was proof he knew he had committed first-degree murder, Assistant District Attorney Reese Lancaster said in closing arguments. Moore never tried to call the police that night and rejected his brother’s plea to get in their car to get away from Scott, the prosecutor said.

Moore then hid evidence, left the area and then attempted to deceive police as to his identity, Lancaster said. If others shot him, it was only because they had just seen him kill their friend and had reason to believe they might be next, prosecutors said.

Lancaster further called on jurors to reject defense insinuations that because Scott had a gun in his car and a loaded clip in his pocket, Moore was still in real danger from the older man. elderly. Moore chose to shoot the unarmed man and then flee, the prosecutor said.

“He was never punched. He was never kicked. He was never spat on,” Lancaster said. “He brought a gun to a fight. This deadly use of force was unnecessary.”

Defense attorney Colleen Barnhill told jurors Moore did not choose to flee from an armed ‘crowd’ of Scott’s fraternity brothers, some of whom opened fire on him after Scott was killed. Scott. Moore got rid of his jacket because the bright pink made him an easy target that rainy night, she told jurors.

“He was getting shot by multiple sources. He was running for his life,” she said. “Darean just wanted to go home. Mr. Scott wouldn’t be arrested.”

Additionally, Moore had carried his gun all night and if he had wanted to murder Scott, he had had plenty of opportunities earlier, Barnhill said. Moore only used his gun when he feared for his life, she said.

Moore had tried to walk away, but Scott was “relentless in his pursuit”.

Scott had been encouraged by his fraternity friends who had focused their “drunken hostility” on Moore, whom they considered an unwanted intruder into their Twin Peaks “fraternity”. She told jurors that the two fraternity members who testified – Robert Plains Jr. and Rolandis Hall – could not be believed because they had left Twin Peaks before police arrived, leaving a dying “brother” behind and a second trying to comfort him.

Barnhill said it was significant that they had not come forward for weeks, showing they knew they had done something wrong. She asked jurors to consider why no other members showed up, despite some accounts placing as many as a dozen members at the restaurant.

“Where were the other fraternity brothers?” “Why didn’t they stay and talk to the police?” Barnhill said. “This case is about the mob mentality that developed that night…that didn’t allow Darean to get out safely.”

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