Jury finds Scantling guilty of premeditated murder
A Benton County jury finds a man accused of killing his ex-fiance's roommate in Kennewick in March guilty of premeditated murder.
Grant Scantling quietly sat in his chair with his head down most of the time, while the verdict was read today.
The jury found Scantling guilty of first degree aggravated murder and first degree burglary.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that Scantling broke into his ex-fiance's duplex on East 8th Place on March 22, 2013, then started attacking her, and put a gun to her head.
24-year-old Franklin Palmer, who was staying at the duplex in another room, came to help Scantling's ex-fiance after hearing screams coming from the room.
Prosecutors say when Scantling saw Palmer, he stopped attacking his ex-fiance, then yelled at Palmer and shot him three times.
Defense attorneys argued that Scantling is guilty of murder, but they say it was not premeditated.
They say they are disappointed with the verdict, and Scantling admits this never should have happened.
Prosecutors, who have been in touch with Palmer's family, say even though they're pleased with the verdict, the entire incident is sad and tragic.
"Mr. Palmer lived a different life than many of us, but he was still a very good man, did not deserve to die the way he died, and I think that they were appreciative of the efforts of the Kennewick Police Department and our office in obtaining justice for Mr. Palmer given these circumstances" said Andy Miller, Benton County prosecutor.
"I can tell you that he's upset and obviously, as it stands now, it's a life sentence, which I think it's very hard for him to wrap his head around that. And I think that Grant is ashamed of how he acted and couldn't be more sorry about what happened, but unfortunately, that doesn't bring Mr. Palmer back" said Scott Johnson, Scantling's attorney.
The jury began deliberating this morning, and they reached a verdict after just a couple hours - the verdict was read just before noon.
Defense attorneys say the verdict will be appealed.
Scantling is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
Because of the verdict reached today, Scantling faces a sentence of life in prison.