Teen indicted for murder in shooting death over cellphone

An 18-year-old Baton Rouge man is under indictment in the fatal Feb. 7 shooting of a St. Gabriel man who police said was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury charged Corey Scott, 1702 America St., with second-degree murder Wednesday in the slaying of Marvin Thomas, also 18, outside Terrace Grocery on Terrace Avenue.

Thomas was shot several times following a fistfight with another man, whom police said tried to steal Thomas’ cellphone, Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. has said.

As Thomas fought with one man, Scott — whom police said was friends with the man who started the fight — shot Thomas, police said.

The man Thomas fought with, Harold Retana, 19, 343 S. 20th St., was booked in February on counts of attempted simple robbery, simple battery and inciting a felony, but the grand jury Wednesday took no action against Retana on a charge of simple robbery.

Retana told police he and Thomas began fighting after Thomas bumped into him once inside the store and once again outside the store, according to the affidavit of probable cause for Retana’s arrest. Retana told police he saw his friend, Scott, shoot Thomas, the affidavit said.

Surveillance footage shows Retana trying to remove something from Thomas’ left pant pocket during the fight. When police checked Thomas’ body, they found his iPhone in that pant pocket, the affidavit said.

Scott faces a sentence of life in prison if found guilty as charged.

The case is assigned to state District Judge Richard Anderson.