MUNCIE, Ind. — Morgan Bell, a 28-year-old woman from Muncie, has been found guilty of murder and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of her ex-boyfriend, Robert Eugene Scott III.
She was acquitted of the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, but the conviction carries a Level 1 felony charge, which could result in a sentence of up to 65 years in prison. Additionally, Bell faces a potential sentence of up to 2.5 years for the obstruction of justice conviction. The sentencing is scheduled to take place next month.
The incident occurred on February 28, 2021 when police responded to a call on West Ninth Street in Muncie. Upon arrival, they discovered Scott suffering from gunshot wounds, and despite efforts to save him, he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The court documents revealed that Bell and Scott had been involved in a domestic dispute in the days leading up to the incident. Bell informed the police that she had returned to Scott’s home accompanied by her friend, Brandon Hodge, to retrieve personal items, including a wallet and an urn containing her child’s ashes. However, upon searching the premises, investigators were unable to locate these items.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Hodge claimed that he had accompanied Bell due to concerns that Scott might become violent. A witness reported that Scott had noticed a vehicle in the alley outside his residence and went to investigate.
Hodge stated that Scott struck the back of their car with an object, which prompted him to open fire. In a desperate attempt to flee, Scott jumped onto the hood of the vehicle before ultimately sustaining gunshot wounds to his chest and back.
Hodge justified his actions by claiming that he believed Scott was armed, but the police found Scott in possession of a pipe wrapped in black electrical tape, and no firearm was recovered from the scene. Digital evidence played a significant role in the investigation, with Facebook Messenger conversations and online searches providing crucial information.
In one Messenger exchange, Bell mentioned “just thinking about killing Trey,” referring to Scott. Furthermore, a search query for “how to clean gunpowder from your car” was discovered on a friend’s phone linked to Bell. Meanwhile, Hodge’s phone history revealed searches for “best murder defense lawyers in Indiana” and “attempted murder defense attorneys.”
The case took an even more disturbing turn when a recorded conversation between Bell, Hodge, and a family member exposed discussions about creating alibis, coping with the aftermath of a crime, and evading criminal prosecution. Hodge’s trial is scheduled for December 4, where he faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and obstruction of justice.
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