A Missouri man was charged with murder Tuesday for allegedly killing his wife after a nonprofit group posted his bail in a domestic violence case, prosecutors said.
Samuel Lee Scott, 54, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, 54-year-old Marcia Johnson, several hours after he was released from jail on a domestic abuse case involving the woman.
Scott had been in jail for a misdemeanor domestic assault charge after he allegedly hit Johnson in the face and threatened to "finish what (he) started" in January. The St. Louis Bail Project posted his $ 5,000 bail on April 9, court documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Later that same night, Scott was said to have gone to Johnson's home at around 7:45 pm
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Several hours later, Johnson was rushed to a nearby hospital after a friend found her head and body bloodied. According to a probable cause statement, she was "unconscious, had a broken eye socket, several broken ribs, and was bruised from head to toe."
Johnson died Sunday, five days after Scott's release.
Scott, who had previous drug and assault convictions, admitted he struck Johnson, police said.
The Bail Project has operated in St. Petersburg. Louis since January 2018. Executive Director Robin Steinberg said the organization was "deeply saddened," but bail was not to blame for Johnson's death.
"No one could have predicted this tragedy," Steinberg said in a statement. "It's important to remember that he had been wealthy enough to afford his bail, or bonded out by a commercial bail bond agency, he would have been free pretrial as well. In times like this, we must come together for this family and keep sight of the need to transform the larger systems that create poverty, racism and violence, including the pretrial bail system. "
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According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 20 people experience "intimate partner" physical violence every minute.
One in three women is said to experience some form of physical violence by her partner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .