Mississippi man admits to faking death in Orange Beach to avoid sexual battery charge

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A Mississippi man pleaded guilty Monday to orchestrating a scheme to fake his own death off the coast of Orange Beach to escape a sexual battery charge.

Jacob Blair Scott pleaded guilty to making a false distress call, transportation of a firearm across state lines by someone under indictment and false information and hoaxes.

Orange Beach police responded on July 30, 2018, to a call for help and found a small boat about a mile from the shoreline. Inside was a semi-automatic pistol tied to the boat and a suicide note. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel from Pensacola searched but found no people. Court records indicate that the search cost the Coast Guard $17,165.

Scott, of Moss Point, was scheduled to appear in Mississippi’s Jackson County for a contempt-of-court hearing related to a 2017 indictment on charges of sexual battery, touching a child for lustful purposes and child exploitation

According to Scott’s written plea agreement, he left several suicide notes in Mississippi, including one that told family members not to change their phone numbers for a year. He also withdrew $45,000 from his bank account before he disappeared, according to the plea document.

The U.S. Marshals Service apprehended Scott on Jan. 30 of last year in Antlers, Oklahoma, where the defendant was using the name Lucas Marty Walding.

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a punishment within advisory sentencing guidelines, concurrent with the 85-year sentence he received in the Jackson County child sexual exploitation case in June. The statutory maximum for the federal charges is five years in prison. A judge scheduled Scott’s sentencing for November.

A jury in Pascagoula found Scott guilty of 14 charges involving a 14-year-old girl whom he impregnated. He had been set to accept a plea bargain in 2018, but he fled and set up the drowning hoax shortly before the court hearing.

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