Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton on Thursday rejected prosecution assertions that Darrell Lamont Scott, cleared on mental-health grounds of abducting two children in Little Rock, should have to register as a sex offender because of a legal quirk affecting some criminal defendants with mental illness.
There has never been any accusation of sexual misconduct against Scott, the younger brother of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., Compton said, refusing to add Darrell Scott to the sex-offender registry.
The claim by deputy prosecutor Michelle Quiller that Scott, 32, must register surprised the judge and defense attorney Cara Boyd Connors at the hearing to finalize what is next for Scott after his acquittal of theft, kidnapping and false imprisonment charges by reason of mental illness.
Quiller acknowledged that Scott has not been accused of any sexual offenses but said Arkansas Code 12-12-903 of the Sex Offender Registration Act of 1997 defines kidnapping and false imprisonment as sex crimes when the victims are children and the perpetrator is not the parent. Under Arkansas Code 12-12-905 of the Act, any offender declared innocent by reason of mental illness of a sex crime must still register as a sex offender, Quiller said.
The sides agreed Thursday that Scott would now submit to an examination by state doctors who will determine a treatment plan, which will be overseen by a circuit judge, who has yet to be determined. Scott will be placed under the supervision of the Department of Human Services, which runs the State Hospital. Once a plan is established, Scott could be placed into a monitoring program that would keep tabs on him for up to five years.
State doctors have diagnosed Scott with bipolar disorder, concluding that he could not tell right from wrong and was compelled to act out by his mental condition last July.
According to police reports, over a four-hour span Scott shoplifted shoes and cosmetics from Dillard's department store in McCain Mall, vandalized an acquaintance's yard and fence on 145th Street, drunkenly crashed a car near East Dixon Road and stole a pickup holding children ages 4 and 10 from outside Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
Scott had been taken to the hospital because of the crash.
The children's aunt had stopped there with the children to use the restroom. She was inside when she got a text message from the older child that somebody was driving them away. In a phone call, Scott told her, "Don't worry, I'm the mayor's brother," according to a police report.
North Little Rock police arrested Scott back at McCain Mall about an hour later after the child texted his aunt where they were. Scott was in the mall, and the children were in the truck parked outside, police said.
Scott spent about three weeks in jail before posting $50,000 bond. His lawyer said Scott immediately began counseling and treatment, which is ongoing.
CORRECTION: Darrell Lamont Scott was accused of abducting two children in Little Rock, and the prosecutor who handled the case is Michelle Quiller. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the city from which the children were taken, and misspelled Quiller’s name.