PORTLAND — The New York man who is accused of murdering Margarita Fisenko Scott, whose body was found in her vehicle in a motel parking lot, has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury.
Anthony Pratt Jr., 19, of Queens, N.Y., had been scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court Tuesday morning to be arraigned on a charge of murder and for a hearing on whether he will be allowed an opportunity to be freed on bail. But one of his attorneys filed a motion to continue the hearing until a witness is available to testify. No new date has been set.
Police say Pratt killed Scott, 29, of Westbrook, with a single gunshot in the first-floor apartment at 266 West Concord St. in Portland on Nov. 11, weeks before her body was found in the back of her 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Riverside Street.
Scott’s estranged husband, Cary Scott, found the SUV on Jan. 17, covered in snow. He brushed off the snow, got in and then saw his wife’s body in the back seat, police have said.
Justice Joyce Wheeler had ordered the affidavit supporting the warrant for Pratt’s arrest sealed at his initial court appearance in Maine on April 26. She said she would lift the seal following his indictment and following Tuesday’s court appearance.
One of Pratt’s attorneys, Peter Cyr, said after his appearance in court last month that the case against Pratt has “some holes” and that Pratt agreed to come to Maine from New York to fight the charge.
The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese, said Monday that a grand jury has since handed up an indictment.
Cyr said last month that it’s unclear how long Scott’s body was in the SUV and how long the vehicle sat unnoticed in the motel parking lot.
He said the people who lived in the Portland apartment where police say Margarita Scott was shot had no idea that she had died in their home.
Pratt was arrested in New York City on April 2 and was held in custody there before being brought to Portland.
Police have said Pratt and Scott were dating and both occasionally stayed at the apartment on West Concord Street, although neither was a tenant. Pratt came to Maine frequently from New York, but police say they don’t know his connection to this state.
They say they have found the gun that was used in the shooting but it was not found at the apartment. The gun had been stolen in a burglary in central Maine and then sold, but police would not say whether Pratt was the buyer.
The apartment’s tenants moved out before police began investigating there, and the apartment was renovated, Pratt’s attorney has said.
Cyr said he is prepared to hire experts to look into ballistics, blood spatter traces and pathology, and to analyze bullet entry and exit wounds.
Scott’s family emigrated from Kazakhstan to the Portland area. She moved to Maine when she was 14 and graduated from Portland High School.
Her family members have said that Scott was in almost daily contact with her parents, Vladimir and Larisa Fisenko of Westbrook, before she disappeared. Her family, including her husband, contacted police in Westbrook and Portland after she disappeared and reported her vehicle missing.
Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at firstname.lastname@example.org