Bread truck driver convicted of killing unarmed black teen over stolen lunchbox

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bread Truck Driver Convicted Of Killing Unarmed Black Teen Over Stolen Lunchbox

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

An Alabama man was convicted Wednesday of gunning down an unarmed 16-year-old as he ran away with a lunchbox stolen from the man’s bread truck.

Jonathan Wayne Scott, 52, of Madison, wept as he was led away from the courtroom where a jury took less than two hours to convict him of manslaughter, AL.com reported. Scott faces up to 20 years in prison in the June 21, 2016, slaying of Mustafa Bearfield Jr., who was black.

Bearfield's mother, Shameka Williams, posted on Facebook following the verdict that her son got justice. The trial of his killer began the day after Mother's Day.

Scott, who is white, testified at trial that he was making a bread delivery to a Huntsville convenience store the morning of the shooting when he saw Bearfield walking away from his work truck with his lunchbox.

He testified that he yelled for the teen to drop the lunchbox, but said that Bearfield gave him a "screw you" look, AL.com reported. That's when Scott threatened the teen with his gun.

“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” Scott testified.

Bearfield ran and Scott chased him, firing six shots in his direction. The final shot struck Bearfield in the back of the head, killing him.

According to AL.com, audio from 911 calls and video from police officers' body cameras showed that Scott attempted to perform CPR on the teen, who died about a block from the convenience store. Scott's lunchbox was found near the boy's body.

Scott testified that he fired his gun to scare the teen into dropping the lunchbox, which he said he often used to carry a gun and thousands of dollars in cash. Police photos taken at the scene, however, show only food and drinks in the container.

The delivery driver said he aimed his shots over Bearfield’s head, but claimed that the final shot struck the teen because he was running up a hill.

At one point in the defense case, Scott’s attorney asked a police witness whether Bearfield had a criminal history, AL.com reported. As prosecutors objected to the question, the teen’s mother spoke up from the gallery.

"He's not here," Williams shouted. "He's dead."

Jurors also saw video of Scott’s interview with police investigators, in which he cried as he admitted killing the teen.

“It was just a cooler,” Scott told detectives, according to AL.com. “It was not worth a kid's life. He was just a boy. Why did I even try to scare him?”

Scott is being held in the Madison County Jail without bond while awaiting sentencing, jail records show.

Williams posted a Mother's Day photo of her son's grave on a Facebook page titled Justice for Mustafa.

“(I) miss my baby saying, ‘Happy Mother's Day, mommy,’ and a hug (and) kiss (and) card. My baby said (I) am a blessing to him as a mother. I cherish all the memories we have,” she wrote.

Others mourned Bearfield on social media after his death, including staff members at his neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.

"You were loved, will be missed and in our prayers," a post on the club's Facebook page read. "Right, wrong or indifferent and no matter how often a child comes to the club, they will always be considered 'our child.' He was taken too soon, he didn't get a chance to grow into the adult we all knew he could be or wanted to be.

“I pray that we will never have to experience a pain like this again and justice will be served.”

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