LA Forensics: The Keystone Diamond
Justice at Last
The case was solved. Hernandez believed that Noel Scott entered William's bedroom while the older man slept and grabbed the flashlight to find the jewelry on the dresser. William awoke and the pair struggled. When Dennis viewed the scene from the patio and asked if William was ok, William answered while hiding in the closet. Dennis went back to bed and William was shot.
In February 1989, Trapp filed the case. Scott was living at his grandfather's house when Hernandez arrived to arrest him.
"The day my partner and I handcuffed him and told him, 'You're under arrest for killing your grandfather,' he didn't resist. He didn't argue. He put his hands behind his back and dropped his head on his chest. Yes, he thought he'd gotten away with this," Hernandez said later.
During the arraignment, Scott was allowed to post a $50,000 bond and he went back to his grandfather's house. His freedom would be short-lived. His trial began the following January.
Lombardi was called as a prosecution witness and testified that he had lied to police regarding Scott's confession in order to get a plea bargain for his burglaries. But Lombardi stood by his earlier statement that Scott asked him how to alter his fingerprints.
Hull testified also, a credible and deliberate witness. Then a squirming Scott took the stand in his own defense. He claimed to be at a Hollywood nightclub when the shooting happened, denied knowing anything about the murder, and said he never touched the gun.
In the end, jurors didn't believe him. After a day of deliberations, Noel Scott was convicted of first-degree murder and later sentenced to 27 years to life in prison.
It was a great moment for Hernandez, who mentally pictured himself shaking William's hand.
"I felt good for the grandfather," he said. "I felt good for all grandfathers."