Man accused of faking his own death now facing federal charges
Jacob Scott disappeared in 2018 just days before he was set to plead guilty in a sexual assault case involving a 14-year-old girl.
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - A man who allegedly faked his own death in 2018 to avoid rape charges in Jackson County is now facing new federal charges.
Jacob Blair Scott - who previously went by the alias Lucas Marty Walding - is now facing three federal charges after authorities say he tried to make it look like he committed suicide so that he could evade more than a dozen charges against him.
Those charges were for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Jackson County. Just days before he was set to plead guilty to those charges, Scott vanished. On July 30, 2018, investigators found his abandoned dinghy floating off the coast of Orange Beach, Ala. They searched it and found a gun and suicide note with contact information for Scott’s family, according to U.S. Marshals.
Only a very small amount of blood was found in the dinghy and investigators said no evidence indicated it was a true suicide.
Later, authorities learned that Scott - a military veteran who once received a Purple Heart - had withdrawn $45,000 from a bank account before he disappeared.
The latest indictment, which was filed Jan. 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, lists three charges against Scott for crimes alleged during his time on the Alabama coast. Those charges are false communications of a distress, illegal shipment and transportation of a firearm by a person under indictment, and false information and hoaxes.
Count one accuses Scott of knowingly communicating a false distress message to the U.S. Coast Guard, causing them to attempt to save lives and property when no help was needed.
The second count alleges that Scott “did willfully ship and transport in interstate commerce a firearm...” The gun in question is a Ruger .380 caliber firearm.
The third count says Scott gave “false and misleading information regarding the use of a firearm to commit a suicide on a small boat in the Gulf of Mexico within a mile of the shoreline of Orange Beach, Alabama, under circumstances where such information may reasonably have been believed, that indicated that an activity had taken place, was taking, or would take place, that is the transportation of a firearm in interstate commerce by a person under indictment for a felony offense...”
Eighteen months later, Scott was arrested just hours after the U.S. Marshals sent out a national release naming him to their Top 15 Most Wanted List, describing Scott as a survivalist and military veteran with the knowledge to live off the grid. Later that night, his case was featured on the true crime show “In Pursuit With John Walsh.”
A tip was called in to investigators that same day claiming that Scott was living in a RV in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, and going by the name Luke. Authorities were able to verify it was Scott and say it had been living there since disappearing from Orange Beach.
Not long after, he was extradited back to South Mississippi, and has been locked up at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center ever since.
His trial on the sexual assault charges is currently set for April 14 in Jackson County, but has had to be moved multiple times over the last two years due to COVID.
Each of the three federal charges against Scott carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. He is set to appear in the federal court in Mobile, Ala., to be arraigned on Feb. 9.
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