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December 7, 2021

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Attorney in Erik Scott case sends letter to judge over evidence

The attorney for the family of Erik Scott, who was killed during an officer-involved shooting in July, sent a letter Wednesday urging a judge to release evidence to the family before a coroner's inquest begins next week.

Attorney Ross Goodman filed a motion Sept. 8 with the Clark County coroner, district attorney and presiding Judge Tony Abbatangelo requesting that the Scott family be allowed to attend a pre-inquest hearing and preview evidence so they can submit meaningful questions during the inquest.

With the inquest set to begin in a week, Goodman sent Abbatangelo a follow-up letter Wednesday asking to schedule a hearing date for the release of the evidence.

In the letter, Goodman asserts that coroner Mike Murphy, who is out of town until the inquest, had no objections to the request, which is why he said it's up to Abbatangelo to grant the request to ensure "a fair and just hearing."

"Your failure to intervene as the Presiding Officer by granting such relief, to include presenting real jury instructions based on real law, will allow Metro, in collaboration with the prosecutors, to repeatedly misuse this process as a clearinghouse designed to free its officers from any accountability in the arena of public perception," the letter states.

Attempts to reach Abbatangelo's office and county officials for comment this morning weren't successful.

Scott was killed July 10 at the Costco in Summerlin after authorities say he pointed a gun at an officer, prompting three officers to shoot him. Some witness accounts have contradicted Metro's version of events.

The inquest, which will determine whether the officers were justified in shooting Scott, will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 and could continue through Sept. 24 at the Regional Justice Center, according to the coroner's office. County commissioners decided last week the inquest will be shown on the county's TV channel, Cox Channel 4.

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