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Gary man gets 103 years for shooting woman dead, burning car

April 5, 2022 GMT

CROWN POIINT, Ind. (AP) — A Lake County judge sentenced a Gary man to more than 103 years in prison Tuesday for fatally shooting his girlfriend and leaving her body in a car he set ablaze.

A jury last month convicted Hugh Scott, 37, of murder and other charges in the June 2018 slaying of Davita Ward, 39.

Judge Samuel Cappas sentenced him to 65 years for murder, 16 years for aggravated battery, 2.5 years for arson and 20 years for a habitual offender enhancement.

Scott has denied his involvement in the crime.

“I am not that monster they are pointing me out to be,” Scott said.

Cappas said although the case was “circumstantial,” strong evidence pointed to Scott’s involvement, including the fact he was treated at Loyola for severe burns on his legs just after her death, the Post-Tribune reported.

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At the time of her death, documents alleged Ward had been in a volatile and abusive relationship with Scott. At one point, she wrote in Facebook messages to Scott she was afraid of him and he was “crazy.”

After Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Ward’s mother and stepfather, Davona and Simon Lillie, said they were grateful for justice nearly four years after her death.

Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler sought a 51-year sentence for Scott.