Jurors deliberated for two and a half hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict in the murder trial of Anthony Pratt Jr., who is accused of shooting Margarita Fisenko Scott in a Portland apartment in 2012.

The jury will resume deliberations Thursday morning as it weighs dozens of hours of testimony it heard over eight days at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland, and the opposing attorneys’ starkly different interpretations of the evidence.

Justice Thomas Warren turned the case over to the jury at 2 p.m. Wednesday, after a prosecutor and one of Pratt’s attorneys spent three hours making closing arguments.

Pratt, 21, of Queens, New York, is accused of shooting Scott, his 29-year-old married lover, on Nov. 11, 2012, in an apartment on West Concord Street where his friends Christopher and Tunile Jennings lived and where Pratt and Scott often stayed. Pratt has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and has been held without bail since his arrest in New York in April 2013.

Scott was killed with a .40-caliber handgun that police found hidden in another apartment in Portland that the Jenningses rented. DNA from both Tunile and Christopher Jennings was found on the gun, and autopsy evidence showed that Christopher Jennings was likely the last person Scott had sex with before she was killed.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese told jurors there is no question that whoever shot Scott wanted her dead, because she was shot through the neck.


“The only question for you in the jury room is who killed Margarita Scott,” Marchese said. “It is Anthony Pratt alone who is guilty of the crime of murder.”

Marchese said it’s “critical” evidence that Pratt was enraged on the morning of Nov. 10 and beat Scott just hours before she was killed. Pratt followed Scott to the apartment in Westbrook that she shared with her husband, Cary Scott, broke a window and attacked her for returning to her husband rather than staying with him.

“Sadly, this case brings you right to the intersection of domestic violence and drugs, and at that intersection is Margarita Scott,” Marchese said. “Anthony Pratt was not going to have Margarita Scott return to her husband one more time. If he couldn’t have her, no one could.”

Pratt’s attorney, Peter Cyr, argued that Christopher and Tunile Jennings are suspects in the killing and that police never fully investigated either of their alibis for the day Scott was killed.

Cyr laid out the timeline of the night Scott was killed, saying it was “impossible” for Pratt to do everything he is accused of doing within two hours, from killing Scott to cleaning up the blood and disposing of her body.

“There is no proof that this crime occurred in the time period that the state says it occurred,” Cyr said.


According to police, the Jenningses were at nightclubs in Portland on the night of Nov. 10 and into the early hours of Nov. 11. They last spoke with Scott at 1 a.m., saying they would take a cab, and returned home around 3 a.m. to find Pratt asleep on the couch with the Jenningses’ infant son on his chest.

Pratt would have to have shot Scott without anyone hearing it, cleaned up the blood, loaded Scott’s 158-pound body into the back of her Chevrolet Trailblazer by himself, driven the vehicle to a motel parking lot two miles away and returned on foot before the Jenningses got home.

“Anthony Pratt could not have done that within the two hours that the state is saying. They are totally speculating. There is no proof,” Cyr said.

Before leaving for the evening, jurors submitted a note to the judge asking for transcripts of witnesses’ testimony about the 1 a.m. phone call on Nov. 11, 2012, and for a chance to listen again to a recording of a phone call between Pratt and Christopher Jennings last year. The judge said they would be given both in the morning.

Neither Christopher nor Tunile Jennings has been charged in Scott’s death. Tunile Jennings has since moved back to Queens with their two children. Christopher Jennings still lives in Portland with friends while he is free on bail in an unrelated felony cocaine trafficking case in Maine.

Christopher Jennings admitted on the witness stand last week that he lied to police repeatedly during the murder investigation. Tunile Jennings testified that she, her husband and Pratt coordinated the lies they told police.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:


Twitter: @scottddolan

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