Mississippi man accused of faking death to avoid sexual misconduct charge pleads not guilty
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Already facing decades behind bars for child sex offenses, a Mississippi man appeared in a federal courtroom Thursday to answer charges that he faked his own death.
Jacob Blair Scott – who authorities maintain has used the alias Lucas Marty Welding – pleaded not guilty to false communication of distress, illegal shipment and transportation of a firearm by a prohibited person and false information or hoaxes. The offenses carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The indictment alleges that Scott misled the Coast Guard on July 30, 2018, into thinking he planned to kill himself in a small boat about a mile off the coast of Orange Beach. At the time, he was under indictment in Mississippi on charges of sexual battery, touching a child for lustful purposes and exploitation of a child. A jury in Pascagoula found him guilty earlier this month of 14 charges involving a 14-year-old girl whom he impregnated. A judge sentenced him to 85 years in prison without possibility of parole.
The federal indictment accuses Scott of moving a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol across state lines.
Scott’s sudden disappearance raised eyebrows in his native Jackson County, where he was scheduled to plead guilty three days later to the sexual abuse charges, according to WLOX.
According to WLOX, investigators found Scott’s dinghy floating off the coast of Orange Beach with a suicide note and the gun.
Investigators because suspicious and later discovered the Scott had withdrawn $45,000 from a bank account before he vanished.
The U.S. Marshals Service apprehended Scott in Oklahoma 18 months later, hours after placing him on its Top 15 Most Wanted list.
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