|Zaayer formally sentenced
|By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
David Scott’s death produced a ripple effect that has impacted hundreds of lives, including family, friends, co-workers and others, his family told a judge Tuesday at the sentencing hearing for the woman who admitted killing him.
Three members of Scott’s family testified prior to the sentencing of Frances A. “Annie” Zaayer, 54, before Montgomery County Circuit Judge William “Bill” Lane. They included Scott’s stepdaughter, Hailey Boyd; Scott’s daughter, Hunter Brown; and Scott’s brother, Adam.
Zaayer pleaded guilty last month to charges of murder, second-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment.
Boyd directed many of her comments at sentencing directly at Zaayer.
Boyd told Zaayer she has no idea the impact her actions had on the Scott family. Authorities say Zaayer shot and killed David, wounded his wife, Shawna, and reportedly shot at another family member.
Boyd told the judge she cried herself to sleep for several days and many holidays for the family came with no joy because David was gone.
The loss was so tragic that Boyd said her 5-year-old child told her it was difficult to continue on living because of how much it hurt losing his grandfather, Boyd said.
“I hope crippling guilt floods you every damn day making it impossible for you to feel nothing but misery,” Boyd said. “You deserve so much more than the sentence you are receiving today.”
Brown, who is pregnant, used her opportunity at the podium to list the numerous milestone achievements her father has missed or will miss because of Zaayer’s actions.
Brown said she lost her best friend in her father and Zaayer is solely responsible.
“You are hands down the most selfish person I’ve ever met,” Brown told Zaayer.
As part of a plea agreement, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office recommended a sentence of 35 years.
Lane followed the recommendation, sentencing Zaayer to 25 years on the murder charge, 10 for the assault and five for wanton endangerment. The sentences on the assault and wanton endangerment are to be run concurrently, but consecutive to the 25 years on murder for a total of 35 years.
Adam Scott discussed with the court the difficulty of losing his brother, then told Zaayer, “You deserve what you got and I think you deserve more than what you got.”
Zaayer did address the court through her attorney, public defender Sara Zeurcher, prior to sentencing.
Zaayer alleged Scott and his wife, Shawna, tormented, terrorized and bullied her for years prior to the murder, but authorities ignored her pleas for help.
She claimed the Scotts did so with the knowledge she was suffering from a mental illness.
Zaayer did acknowledge, however, that the actions she took were wrong and asked the Scott family for forgiveness.
The judge did order that any mental health services made available through the Dept. of Corrections be provided to Zaayer.
About 20 family members, friends, co-workers and other supporters of the Scotts were in attendance for the sentencing hearing. Among them were several current or former members of the staff at the Montgomery County Regional Jail, including former Jailer Eric Jones.
Scott worked part-time at the jail and Summit Polymers. He also served as a girls’ youth softball coach.
Zaayer was accused of shooting to death Scott, 47, on May 26, 2018. David and Shawna were neighbors on Washington Avenue with Zaayer.
Zaayer had also been charged with two counts of attempted murder for reportedly shooting at Scott’s wife and another Scott family member.
Those charges were amended to assault and wanton endangerment.
A first-degree burglary charge that was filed in December was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Shawna Scott was reportedly shot below the right eye and the bullet passed through her head and entered the left side of her neck, but she survived.
Zaayer also reportedly fired several gunshots at a Scott family member who was driving down the street.
Zaayer and the Scotts had reportedly been engaged in a lengthy dispute that involved law enforcement being called there numerous times, according to court records.
Shawna Scott has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Zaayer seeking damages for medical expenses, past and future physical pain and mental anguish, loss of earnings and reduction in Shawna’s power to labor and earn money in the future due to what has been described as Zaayer’s “extreme and outrageous conduct.”
David Scott was remembered by the community during a funeral service following his death that included a lengthy procession attended by jail employees and first responders from all over the state.
A judge ruled in September that Zaayer was competent to stand trial on the charges.
The judge made the ruling after hearing testimony from Dr. Timothy Allen, a psychiatrist from the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange who examined Zaayer.
Lane had agreed to make some special accommodations for Zaayer at her trial such as limiting background noise in the courtroom. Other measures were not specified in the judge’s September ruling. Zaayer entered her plea Jan. 12. Her trial was scheduled to begin Jan. 18.