HOUSTON -- The pastor of the young woman who indicted for murder five months after a road rage incident in northwest Harris County says that if the races were reversed there might not be a murder indictment at all.
Crystal Scott, 23, shot and killed 22-year-old Jonathan Ables, September 17, 2012, after she says he approached and pounded on her car.
The drivers had pulled into a Shell gas station at Perry and FM 1960 after Scott says Ables bumped her car. Both were on their way to work during the morning commute.
“Unfortunately the actions of an enraged man led to his untimely death,” said Scott’s pastor, Bishop James Dixon, II, who held a news conference on Wednesday -- the day after the indictment was announced.
Crystal Scott is African American. Jonathan Ables was white.
"Had this been a black male, a white female, most people are doubtful we'd be having this kind of press conference,” said Dixon when a reporter asked specifically about the race issue and whether he thought a white female would face a murder charge under similar circumstances.
"How is it that you get a murder charge when you're the one under attack,” Dixon asked.
We posed that exact question to 11 News Legal Expert Professor Gerald Treece at the South Texas College of Law.
"The question is if a person comes up angry to you do you have a right to kill him? No, you do not,” said Treece who said that to avoid a murder indictment there would have to be clear and convincing evidence that Scott feared for her life. The grand jury indicted Scott on Tuesday after weighing additional evidence beyond Scott’s version of events.
“A (trial) jury could very well accept self defense,” said Treece of Scott eventually facing the charges in court. “But to prove self defense under Texas law you're going to have to show you were in reasonable fear, not of injury, but of your life before you take a life."
"I want you to know that in this town, this county, and this state, a concealed handgun license is not a license to kill,” said Ables’ family attorney, Brian Wice, in an interview with KHOU 11 News on the day of the indictment.
Crystal Scott surrendered to authorities Tuesday night for a mandatory booking process and was released pending trial on $50,000 bail.
An initial court date has been set for early March.