Johnathan Scott; Mustafa Bearfield
Johnathan Scott; Mustafa Bearfield
Photo: Madison County Ala., Detention Center, Justice for Mustafa

After less than two hours of deliberation, an Alabama jury issued a guilty verdict for the man who shot an unarmed child in the head after the teenager allegedly stole the man’s lunchbox.

According to, 52-year-old Johnathan Scott, who was often referred to as the “George Zimmerman of Alabama,” wept after he was convicted on manslaughter charges in the 2016 death of 16-year-old Mustafa Bearfield.


Around 7 a.m. on June 16, 2016, Scott was making a delivery in his bread truck in Huntsville, Ala., when he noticed that the door of his truck was open. That’s when Scott said he noticed Mustafa walking away with his black lunchbox, reports.

Scott testified that he yelled to the boy to drop the lunchbox but said the young man responded by giving him a “screw-you look.”

“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” said Scott. When Mustafa didn’t comply and began to run, Scott shot at the teen but missed. So Scott shot again. And again. And again. And again.


On the sixth try, Scott finally put a bullet in the back of the 16-year-old’s head.

Scott’s defense attorneys tried to argue that he was only trying to scare the teenager ... by firing six rounds in his direction. The driver also claimed that he often carried thousands of dollars and a gun in the lunchbox, neither of which was found inside the lunchbox.


In a futile attempt to explain the “accident,” Scott testified that he was attempting to fire above Mustafa’s head, but said the boy was running uphill. He also said he thought the youngster had a gun (Mustafa didn’t).

When the lead investigator on the case took the stand, Scott’s defense team asked if Mustafa had had a criminal record, to which the ex-detective replied: “He’s not here. He’s dead.”


According to Alabama state law, in order to convict Scott, the jury had to decide whether or not Scott acted “recklessly.” Madison County Deputy District Attorney Randy Dill argued that shooting six shots on a city street was a reckless act, while Scott’s lawyer Chad Morgan (no, I didn’t make that up) fought for the lesser charge of negligent homicide.

Scott faces up to 20 years in prison, where I’m guessing that someone will take his lunch once again.

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