East St. Louis man sentenced in fatal shooting near Cahokia

Demarcus D. Scott
Demarcus D. Scott Provided

An East St. Louis man who fatally shot another man and left him lying in the street in the Parkfield Terrace neighborhood was sentenced Thursday for the murder.

DeMarcus Scott, 25, was arrested four days after the 2016 shooting of 24-year-old Jamell Bridges, also of East St. Louis. Scott pleaded guilty and was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for the murder.

He will have to serve 100 percent of the sentence but will receive credit for the 17 months he has already served in the St. Clair County Jail.

Bridges' body was found Oct. 14, 2016, near Cahokia. Herkeisha Lester, his girlfriend of eight years, told the BND in 2016 that Bridges doted on his daughter, who was 4 when he died.

His mom, Samantha Bridges, said her son had gotten a steady job the year he was killed and was getting his life together.

One of Scott's friends, James Hoyle, would have been a witness for the prosecution had the case gone to trial. Scott went to him after the murder, driving a gray Pontiac with one window broken out.

Video footage showed Bridges and Scott getting into a gray Pontiac prior to the murder, according to court documents. The back passenger window was intact at that time. Minutes later, additional footage showed the gray Pontiac leaving the scene of the murder, the back passenger window broken out.

Hoyle said the night of the murder, Scott came to his house in the Pontiac. The window was broken out, and when Hoyle asked what had happened, Scott initially told him he didn't know, according to court documents. Later, he said he believed it was broken from a gunshot.

Scott went to buy a replacement window and when he came back, Hoyle said it seemed like the car had been cleaned with bleach, according to court documents. Hoyle helped Scott replace the window in the car.

In the days following, Scott was stopped while driving the gray Pontiac, and was arrested. Police seized his car and found gunshot residue and blood, as well as evidence that the car had been cleaned with bleach.

The blood in the car couldn't be matched to Bridges, but police also recovered a bloody wash cloth from Hoyle's house that they believe was used to clean the car. DNA testing showed the blood could have belonged to Bridges, but the test was not conclusive.

Scott was sentenced to four years in prison for a robbery in 2011.