One of two co-defendants accused of killing a 25-year-old Charleston man after arranging to buy his pickup truck off Craigslist entered an unexpected guilty plea in the case on Wednesday.
Jquan Scott, 21, of Greenhill Road on James Island faced charges of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He faces a mandatory 30 years to life for the murder charge, but will be sentenced on a later date, according to a news release from the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
William Alex Apps, a College of Charleston student who grew up in Beaufort, agreed to meet with Scott and a second man at a Hardee’s restaurant on Spring Street to sell them a 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck he had advertised on the online classifieds site in October 2013.
While they were crossing the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge into Mount Pleasant on a test drive, Scott shot Apps in the head while Apps was sitting in the passenger seat.
Apps’ body was found days later dumped in a woods near a power substation off Magrath Darby Boulevard.
Scott drove the stolen truck to a party in Beaufort and used Apps’ debit card along the way, authorities said. He was still driving the pickup when investigators caught up with him, Charleston County sheriff’s deputies reported at the time.
A second suspect, 20-year-old Isaac R. Williams of Rutledge Avenue in Charleston, is also charged with kidnapping and murder and is being held in the Charleston County jail awaiting trial.
Scott unexpectedly pleaded guilty following a routine pre-trial conference Wednesday morning, according to the Solicitor’s Office. Circuit Judge Kristi Lee Harrington accepted Scott’s plea, but delayed sentencing to give Apps’ family an opportunity to speak.
“We were prepared for next week’s trial and were surprised the defendant decided to plead on the ‘eve’ of trial,” 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in the release. “We intend to present evidence which will demonstrate to Judge Harrington that Scott deserves the maximum sentence.”
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.