Clinton jury convicts man of murdering girlfriend’s mom

A 20th Judicial District Court jury convicted Kendale Scott on Friday of second-degree murder in the slaying June 24, 2012, of Katherine Hartman, 58, of Ethel in East Feliciana Parish.

District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla reported the jury voted 11-1 after a three-day trial to find Scott guilty of killing Hartman and then dumping her body in the yard of a vacant house on Lane Road, a dead-end road in Ethel, where it was found by sheriff’s deputies on July 6, 2012.

The victim’s daughter, Lisa Marie Keller, 34, had reported Hartman missing on June 25, Sheriff Talmadge Bunch said at the time.

East Feliciana Parish grand jurors on Aug. 7, 2012, returned “true bills” accusing Scott, 26, along with Keller, Naomi Ruth Wheat, 20; and Shederick Law, 24, of the second-degree murder of Hartman.

At the time of the slaying, Keller, Scott, and Wheat lived with the victim in a mobile home at 8158 Highland Drive, west of Clinton.

Scott initially was booked on a second-degree murder count, while deputies booked the other three with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.

Sheriff’s deputies believe Scott shot and killed Hartman on June 24 and Keller reported her mother missing the next day to avoid answering questions about her mother’s whereabouts.

Sheriff’s detectives identified Scott as Keller’s boyfriend; Wheat as a friend of Keller and Law, of Baker, as a friend of Scott.

Scott’s three codefendants, remain in custody awaiting trial, D’Aquilla said.

The 20th Judicial District is made up of West and East Feliciana parishes.