(SAVANNAH) The trial of a Savannah man accused in a one man crime wave of violence against women started in Savannah this morning. Opening arguments from the prosecution in the case pointed to the complexity of three separate incidents leading to 28 charges in a single trial for Torrey Scott, the man accused in the rapes of three women and the murder of a fourth. The state told the panel of jurors, 11 women and 5 men, that their plan is to present their case in thirds, The rape of two students at Savannah State University in December 2013, the murder of Lisa Pynn in her home in Port Wentworth weeks later, and the kidnap and rape of a woman taken from a hospital parking lot in Savannah.
Prosecutors say DNA evidence and witness testimony will show jurors that Scott is responsible for the crimes, which include robbery in every case. They went on to outline that Scott’s residence is near two of the incidents and in the murder of Pynn, he was reportedly at another house on the same street as the victim and allegedly disappeared for a time, a window of opportunity the prosecution says Scott took. The State promised to bring evidence to court to prove their case beyond a reasonable double.
Defense attorney Richard Darden told jurors in his opening statement that this case is about jackpot justice and that it all hinges on unreliable identification and DNA. Darden claimed one reported victim actually took a cell phone call from Scott, before his arrest on charges, which should satisfy reasonable doubt. ” We are not suggesting that there was no sex here, this is a case of consensual sex and jackpot justice. This is what this is about. ” said Darden.
That statement led one victim, who is also set to testify in the case against Scott, to rush out of the court room just before the lunch break in the trial. During the lunch break, that witness actually confronted Scott’s attorney at the elevator on the 2nd floor and again on the first floor. Following lunch, the defense asked for a mistrial. Superior Court Judge Penny Freesemann questioned each juror before ruling on the motion for mistrial. The questioning took nearly 2 hours and in the end, a lone juror admitted the outburst would have an impact on impartiality. Judge Freesemann excused that juror. The other 15 jurors told the court their ability to serve objectively was not compromised by the outburst.
The prosecution called one witness before the end of the day, the neighbor of the two SSU students allegedly raped & robbed by Scott. That neighbor is the first place the two alleged victims ran after Scott left their apartment on the campus of SSU. Scott’s trial will continue tomorrow and it’s expected to last three weeks. Prosecutors are seeking life without the possibility of parole. The trial is set to continue tomorrow.