CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A man about to go on trial Monday surprised prosecutors with a guilty plea Thursday.
Jquan Scott, 21, unexpectedly entered a guilty plea to charges of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm during a violent crime after a routine pre-trial conference, according to a release from the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office.
Scott is accused in the October 2013 murder of William "Alex" Apps, who prosecutors say was attempting to sell his pickup truck on Craigslist and disappeared after meeting with Scott and a co-defendant, Isaac Rommel Williams. Apps' body was recovered on McGrath Darby Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.
He had been scheduled to go on trial on Monday, according to solicitor's office spokesperson Naomi Nation.
"We were prepared for next week's trial and were surprised the defendant decided to plead on the eve of trial," Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in a statement.
Scott faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years to life in prison for the murder, a mandatory minimum of 10 years to 30 years for armed robbery, a maximum sentence of 30 years for kidnapping, and a maximum of five years for the firearm charge, Nation said.
Wilson said her office intends to present evidence which will demonstrate Scott deserves the maximum sentence.
The judge accepted the plea but deferred sentencing to allow Apps' family the chance to speak to the court and to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
Williams' charges remain pending and he is expected to go on trial this summer, Nation said.