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Man pleads guilty to murder
Michael Scott, 29, gets life sentence in death of Ebony Waters, 23
Michael Javon Scott

After a day of listening to witnesses share disturbing recollections of a woman's death in September, Michael Javon Scott pleaded guilty Tuesday to striking and killing the victim with a car.

Ebony Tondra-Marie Waters, 23, was killed Sept. 21 when Scott ran her over following a physical fight at Palmetto Court Apartments off U.S. Highway 301 North.

Scott, 29, faces life in prison with parole eligibility. Bulloch County Superior Court Judge William T. Woodrum handed down the sentence Tuesday morning after Scott entered a guilty plea to felony murder and aggravated assault, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Jarriel said. She and ADA Joseph Cushner prosecuted the case, sending 10 witnesses to the stand Monday.

Jarriel said the prosecution planned to hear five more witnesses Tuesday, but Scott changed his mind about continuing the trial by jury and entered the plea.

Witnesses Monday told jurors about hearing Scott and Waters fighting, then hearing a car speeding through the apartment complex. Some witnesses identified Scott as the man they saw driving with Waters' body on his car hood, then leaning over her body after he slammed to a stop between two parked cars, crushing her between the car and a retainer wall.

Evidence introduced at trial Monday, along with opening arguments by Scott's attorney, Caleb Banks, revealed Waters and Scott had an ongoing argument, possibly linked to a conflict concerning Quaneisha Tribble, a mutual friend and the mother of Scott's child.

Tribble testified that Waters asked where Scott lived, and evidence produced at trial revealed that Waters went to his apartment with brass knuckles, and fought with Scott shortly before she was killed.

The fight was over and Waters was walking back to her car when Scott struck her from behind with his car, Jarriel said Tuesday. The prosecution planned to submit taped interviews between Scott and police investigators Tuesday in which he admits that Waters' back was turned and she was walking, then running away after he struck her, Jarriel said.

Waters died of severe internal injuries that included broken and separated ribs, an "exploded" heart, liver injuries, lung injuries and a fractured pelvis. She also suffered bruises and abrasions and a broken right ankle, Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab medical examiner Dr. Jake Downs testified Monday. Waters "died as a result of blunt force injury. All this force was applied to her body at one time."

Scott will be sent back to prison, where he was already serving time for a parole violation. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, he was convicted of burglary in Toombs County for a December 2003 incident, and armed robbery in Toombs County for a July 2004 incident.

He was sent to Autry State Prison in 2004 and released in 2008, but was returned for parole violation the same year and released in May 2011.

After Waters was killed in September 2012, Scott was first taken to the Bulloch County Jail, then returned to prison in November on a parole violation stemming from the murder charge.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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