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TEXARKANA -- A man accused by authorities of planning to steal and fly a commercial jet from Texarkana to Chicago for a July 4th rap concert 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 report.

Airport security personnel who noticed a man jump a fence onto the property about 2:30 a.m. contacted police, according to an affidavit. When members of the Texarkana Police Department arrived, the suspect was sitting in the pilot's seat in the cockpit of the small commercial plane, the affidavit said.

After his arrest, Scott told investigators his lack of training as a pilot didn't concern him as he believed operating the aircraft could be accomplished by simply pulling levers and pushing buttons, the affidavit said.

At a hearing in August at which Scott pleaded innocent to attempted commercial burglary and attempted theft of property, Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell 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, a psychologist with Southwest Arkansas Counseling and Mental Health Center found that Scott is competent.

Scott told the psychologist that he had been using synthetic marijuana for about a week preceding his arrest, according to the report. Scott 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.

Both charges that Scott faces are punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Scott is being held in the Miller County jail. Bail is set at $25,000.

State Desk on 01/04/2019

Print Headline: Suspect in plane-theft plot fit for trial

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