CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A man accused of killing a newspaper delivery man in uptown Charlotte in 2017 was found guilty Monday.
The jury found Roger Best guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Wes Scott, who was killed during an attempted robbery.
Best’s trial got underway in January.
The state said their evidence would prove that the defendant, Best, was looking for a criminal opportunity and says he is guilty of first-degree murder. The defense in his opening statement pointed out that although surveillance video will be shown, none of the video actually shows the shooting itself. He reminded the jury it’s their decision to assess the evidence and come up with a decision on their own.
The shooting happened on a cold February night. CMPD said Scott was delivering newspapers at his normal route in Uptown. Police say Best attempted to rob Scott, not knowing Scott was a South Carolina constable and had a legal gun on his person. At some point, both men were shot. Scott died from his injuries on scene.
Best left the scene and later flagged down police for his gunshot wound to his stomach. The defense says he was taken to the hospital by police for emergency surgery.
The state called several people to testify last month, including a tearful testimony from one of Scott’s sons.
The state called one of the officers to the stand who was first on the scene and found Scott’s body on the street. But for this officer, it was more emotional for him than other crime scenes because he knew Scott. Both the officer and Scott had been working the overnight shift in uptown for decades. During that time, the two developed a friendship.
The defense asked if Scott was moving or breathing when the officer got on the scene. Through tears, the officer answered “no” to both questions.
The state played the full body-camera video that the officer was wearing that night to the jury. Scott’s family stepped out of the courtroom as it was too painful to watch. In the video, you can hear the officer screaming, “That was Wes, that was the newspaper delivery man,” and later telling other officers they were friends.
Throughout the the trial, Best sat quietly and watched as the witnesses gave their testimony.