MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The second capital murder trial for X’Zavier Kamonte Scott is underway this week, after a judge declared his first a mistrial in May. On day three, prosecutors brought prior testimony from a different trial to light.
Wednesday marked the third day of the trial for Scott in Madison County court. He is facing capital murder charges in the 2018 stabbing death of Tiffany Kelly in Huntsville.
Prosecutors say Scott and his girlfriend-at-the-time, Domanek Jackson, met Kelly when they asked her for a ride outside of a Dollar General in south Huntsville. Once inside the car, prosecutors say they believe Scott stabbed Kelly and then stole her vehicle.
Jackson was convicted of robbery in 2022 for her role in the case. It was at Jackson’s trial that Scott admitted under oath that he was the one who stabbed Kelly.
That bit of information was brought to light in front of the jury in Scott’s new trial, on Wednesday. Prosecutors presented the sworn testimony in front of the jury that Scott gave during Jackson’s trial. In it, Scott said he “blacked out and just started stabbing her.”
During Wednesday’s court proceedings, Scott’s face showed no emotion or reaction to what was being read.
Prosecutors also read a letter written by Scott that was addressed to Judge Donna Pate, the presiding judge in Scott’s case, that had been read at Jackson’s trial. In the letter, Scott said he took “full responsibility” and apologized for the killing. He said he was homeless at the time of the crime and dealing with depression.
Prior to the previous sworn testimony and letter being read, prosecutors had called two expert witnesses to the stand. Both expert witnesses worked with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The first explained the methods used to collect DNA and blood samples from the evidence in the case.
The second expert witness was a medical examiner. She was the same medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Kelly and determined her cause of death.
The medical examiner walked the jury through the autopsy process and detailed the depth and location of each stab wound on Kelly. Photos were shown from the autopsy to the jury and members of the gallery. Many jurors appeared to be uncomfortable looking at the graphic images.
We learned Kelly was stabbed six times in the head and neck area. She had one stab wound on her forehead, and the rest were located towards the back of her head and neck.
The medical examiner determined Kelly’s cause of death as “sharp force injuries of the head and neck.” The medical examiner said it was likely a combination of two of the specific stab wounds that led to Kelly’s death.
The defense only asked one brief clarifying question during the cross-examination of the medical examiner. After that expert witness testimony, prosecutors rested their case.
After the prosecution rested, one of Scott’s attorneys attempted to make a Judgement of Acquittal, arguing prosecutors hadn’t fully established the venue of the crime. Attorney Larry Marsili also attempted to argue that Scott should not be facing capital murder charges since he believed Scott didn’t plan to rob Kelly during the crime.
Judge Donna Pate denied those motions.
The defense then attempted to call an independent forensic consultant to the stand as an expert witness. After some back and forth regarding the materials she planned to present, she was dismissed prior to testifying.
The defense rested their case just before 2:00 p.m. Judge Donna Pate then excused the jury for the rest of the afternoon.
Proceedings are expected to resume in Pate’s courtroom at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. The jury will hear closing arguments from both sides before they begin deliberations.