For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: July 8, 2005
Lovelace Resentenced to Life In Prison for 1995 Murder
(Sandpoint) – The Office of Attorney General has negotiated an agreement under which Faron E. Lovelace will serve a fixed life sentence for the 1995 kidnapping and murder of Jeremy Scott, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Lovelace also agreed to waive all direct appeals in his case. As a result of the agreement, the Attorney General’s Office has withdrawn its notice of intent to seek the death penalty in Lovelace’s pending resentencing.
Lovelace accepted the agreement in First District Court in Bonner County this morning. District Judge Steven Verby then sentenced Lovelace to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In 1997, the Attorney General’s Office, serving as special prosecutor at the request of the Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney, determined that sufficient evidence existed in this case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lovelace committed a murder and a kidnapping and that the existence of statutory aggravating factors could also be proven. Following conviction by a jury, First District Judge James Judd sentenced Lovelace to death by lethal injection.
In preparing for resentencing, deputies attorney general reviewed every document available concerning Lovelace, his prior involvement with the criminal justice system, case files concerning associates involved with him in criminal matters, as well as in his dealings with the victim, Jeremy Scott. The Attorney General’s Office also examined Lovelace’s conduct during the past 10 years of incarceration, his current medical condition, and his mental health history. This evaluation also included an examination of the background and activities of the victim.
“A prosecutor’s highest duty is to seek justice,” Attorney General Wasden said. “When my office acts as a special prosecutor, we review the facts and the law existing at the time. As a result of our exhaustive review of this case, we have concluded that the death penalty is not a just sentence in this case. Although there is evidence to establish one or more statutory aggravating factors, there is also a significant amount of evidence which mitigates Mr. Lovelace’s crimes and which must be weighed against imposing the death penalty.”
U.S. Marshalls arrested Lovelace on August 18, 1996, for a federal parole violation. While in custody, he confessed to murdering Jeremy Scott in 1995 in the mountains near Sandpoint.
Lovelace shot Jeremy Scott in the back of the head with a .38 caliber handgun. He had previously taken Scott at gunpoint and held him through the night, talking, discussing religion, and praying. During the early morning hours, Lovelace shot Scott in the back of his head, killing him instantly. Early the next morning, Lovelace hauled Scott’s body to a remote mountainous area and buried him along a roadside. The crime was undiscovered until Lovelace’s confession.
The Office of Attorney General prosecuted the case at the request of the Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney. Prior to trial, the Office of Attorney General attempted to resolve the case by offering Lovelace a fixed life sentence in return for guilty pleas to the murder and kidnapping charges. Lovelace, serving as his own attorney, rejected the plea offer and stated his desire to be sentenced to death.
In September of 1997, Lovelace was tried in First District Court in Bonner County for first degree murder and first degree kidnapping. Lovelace, still representing himself, presented no evidence, except for a statement to the jury wherein he admitted the elements of the state’s case. Lovelace asked the jury to find him guilty and requested that the judge sentence him to death.
On September 11, 1997, the jury returned guilty verdicts on the charges of first degree murder and first degree kidnapping. On December 17, 1997, First District Judge James F. Judd sentenced Lovelace to death.
In January 1998, Lovelace, still acting as his own attorney, filed a motion for post-conviction relief. Lovelace notified the court in March 2000 that he was withdrawing his application and waiving his right to post-conviction relief proceedings.
Under Idaho law, all death sentences must be reviewed by the Idaho Supreme Court. On July 23, 2003, and November 20, 2003, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed Lovelace’s conviction and vacated the death sentence. The Supreme Court sent the case back to district court for sentencing pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ring v. Arizona. In the Ring case, the nation’s
highest court held that the question of whether the aggravating factors necessary for a death sentence were present in a case is a factual determination that must be made by a jury, rather than a judge.
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