Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder in Shelter Homicide

April 12, 2013

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Rickey Leon Scott, age 64, was found guilty of first degree murder for fatally stabbing another man at a homeless shelter in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood on February 6, 2012.

“Homeless shelters are the last safe refuge for people who have no other options,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This man violated the sanctity of this shelter and all who live within it, by murdering the victim in cold blood.”

According to court testimony, Rickey Leon Scott fatally stabbed Abdul Smith, age 44, at the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s homeless shelter at 525 Fifth St. shortly before 7pm on February 6, 2012. He stabbed Abdul Smith once in the heart. Smith was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later. Scott fled, but was found by police about 10 minutes later a block away, at Fourth and Bryant Streets. The first SFPD officers were on scene within two minutes. The ambulance crew was there within four minutes. Officers searched tirelessly for four hours in the rain for the murder weapon. They were able to locate the knife with the help of the San Francisco Fire Department, using a hook and ladder truck to do a rooftop search. By doing so, officers were able to locate the murder weapon on the roof of a building where Mr. Scott had attempted to hide the knife.

After a one month trial, the case went to the jury Tuesday afternoon. The jury came back with a verdict this morning. They found the defendant guilty of first degree murder, and found the use of a knife allegation true.

This prosecution would have not been possible without the tireless efforts of Sgt. Scott Warnke, Inspector John Evans, Sgt. Joseph Allegro, and the staff of the St. Vincent De Paul Shelter. The center is a refuge for the homeless, which has a 100% no weapons policy. Trial support was provided by Erica Dixon, Blanca Conway, Voltaire Almendrala and Gonzalo Gonzalez. Martine Barbier and Vincent Carabeo were the Victim Advocates on the case. This great result is thanks to Todd Barrett, who was the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case.

The defendant is back on in court on April 15, 2013 in Dept. 29 at 9am, for post-trial motions.