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Press Release

Federal Inmate Convicted of Assault with Intent to Commit Murder and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Lorenzo Scott, age 50, formerly of Rayville, Louisiana, and   an inmate at the United States Penitentiary (USP) at Lewisburg, was convicted of assault with intent to commit murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury following a three-day jury trial before Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann in Williamsport.  

 According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Scott was an inmate at USP Lewisburg on March 25, 2015, when he physically assaulted his cellmate and repeatedly struck, stomped, and inflicted blunt force trauma to the cellmate’s head resulting in severe, life- threatening injuries.  A corrections officer at USP Lewisburg, who was conducting rounds at 4:00 a.m., observed Scott stomping on the cellmate’s head as the cellmate lay on the floor of the cell in a puddle of blood. The cellmate died approximately two years and two months after the assault from the injuries inflicted by Scott. 

The indictment in this case originally charged Lorenzo Scott with murder. However, the charge of murder was withdrawn by the government due to existing federal caselaw regarding the “year-and-a-day-rule,” which bars a prosecution for murder in cases in which the victim dies more than a year and a day after the infliction of the wound causing the victim’s death.

During the trial, Scott testified and admitted that, without provocation, he assaulted and intended to kill his victim.

A bill has been introduced in Congress which would abolish the year-and-a-day-rule in federal murder cases.

The case was investigated by the FBI-Williamsport Division and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Special Investigations Section (SIS). Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara and Kyle A. Moreno prosecuted the case.

The charges of assault with intent to commit murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury each carry a maximum sentence under federal law of up to 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs.  For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated February 9, 2024