Here's where it gets crazy. Scott said he didn't remember a thing although the police of course weren't buying it. His defense team stated that Scott had a history of sleep walking and that's what happened. Of course I don't have a clue as to whether this sleepwalking defense has any legitimacy, but it sounded outrageous to me. But, why did he do it? The police wanted a motive to help them close the case. They couldn't find it. Scott and Yarmilla were high school sweethearts. Scott was a very successful engineer with Motorola. Many family and friends said they were jealous as to how great Scott and Yarmilla's marriage was. They were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Scott was to teach a bible study the very next morning. If he did it, it came out of nowhere. Neither of them were caught having an affair, there was no life insurance policy (she didn't work so Scott didn't have a policy on her), there was never a domestic disturbance call to their house previously. The police could never find a motive and it was something that tripped the jurors up a bit.
The defense team had an uphill battle and they provided evidence that he did sleepwalk from time to time. Only one other time had it been violent. His sister was in the kitchen in the middle of the night and Scott walked in and didn't acknowledge her. She knew something was off and when he began walking to the sliding glass door, she attempted to stop him and as she put it, he threw her several feet. She was shocked at his strength because he was pretty much a skinny geek.
The defense strategy didn't work even though they brought in two of the leading people in the field of sleepwalking, and Scott was sentenced to life without parole. His family and two teenage children were devastated. They said their parents were best friends constantly doing things together. After twenty years they still support their father.
I can't say for sure, whether Scott intended to kill his wife, but if I were a juror, I would've convicted him because I don't believe there's enough science behind the effects of sleepwalking. What would've stuck in the back of my mind, is that they found bloody clothes and the knife hidden in the back of one of their vehicles under a floorboard. I just couldn't see someone in a daze, thinking strategically. If he didn't know he did anything wrong, then why cover anything up?
It's an extremely strange case and why the national media was all over the trial in Phoenix. There are certainly some innocent people in prison but I don't believe Scott is one of them although I do admit that his defense team had me wondering at times. If you like watching crime shows, ABC News 20/20, has this recent episode available On-Demand.