An Arkansas teen accused of planning to steal and fly a commercial jet from Texarkana to Chicago for a rap concert last year has been found fit to proceed to trial.
Zemarcuis Devon Scott, 18, intended to take an American Eagle twin engine jet in the early hours of Independence Day to see rapper Famous Dex perform in Illinois, according to a probable cause affidavit and psychological evaluation filed in the case. Airport security personnel who noticed Scott jump a fence onto the property at about 2:30 a.m. on July 4 immediately contacted local police, investigators said.
When members of the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department arrived, Scott was sitting in the pilot's seat in the cockpit of the small commercial plane, authorities said.
Scott told investigators his lack of training as a pilot didn't concern him as he believed operating the aircraft could be accomplished by pulling levers and pushing buttons, the court documents show.
At a hearing in August in which Scott pleaded not guilty to attempted commercial burglary and attempted theft of property, a public defender asked the court to order an evaluation of Scott's mental state to determine if he is competent to stand trial.
In a report filed Dec. 21 in Miller County, a psychologist with Southwest Arkansas Counseling and Mental Health Center found that Scott is competent. Scott understands the charges facing him, understands the criminality of the alleged conduct and has the ability to assist his lawyer in a defense, the report states.
According to the report, Scott told the psychologist that he had been using synthetic marijuana for about a week preceding his arrest. He also said he had been thinking about stealing a plane for about a month and had been watching the plane since 10 p.m. July 3 before throwing his bicycle in a ditch and heading for the jet more than four hours later.
Now that Scott has been found competent, the case can move toward resolution through a plea bargain or a trial. Scott is expected to appear for a pretrial hearing later this month.