Fred Odell Scott Sr.

LA PLATA, Md. — Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Friday, May 6, 2022, Charles County Circuit Court Judge Donine Carrington Martin sentenced Fred Odell Scott, 58, of Waldorf, to 20 years in prison for the Second-Degree Murder of John Staton and the Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence.

In addition to the 20 years in prison, Scott will be on supervised probation for 5 years upon release and received 20 years of suspended time.

On July 2, 2021, Scott entered a guilty plea to the above-mentioned charges.

On December 10, 2019, officers responded to a business located in the 150 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered victim John Staton, who suffered gunshot wounds to the upper body. Staton was pronounced deceased at the scene.

A witness reported that the suspect, later determined to be Scott, pulled up to Staton in a grey Mitsubishi Outlander. Scott exited the vehicle, brandished a handgun, and shot Staton.

A further investigation revealed that on November 27, 2019, Scott’s home was burglarized. Televisions, clothing, computers, and money were taken during the burglary.

Scott believed that Staton was the perpetrator. During the shooting on December 10, 2019, several witnesses heard Scott yell that he knew Staton broke into his house.

On December 12, 2019, Scott was apprehended.

During sentencing, Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Beattie told the judge, “Mr. Scott made a decision that day – rather than what Staton’s family is doing today to seek the Court – he decided to address this wrong. We’ll never know if the victim [broke into Mr. Scott’s house]. He never got the opportunity to make his case.” He continued that Mr. Scott decided to get vengeance in a “cold and callous way.”


UPDATE: December 13, 2019 – Charles County Sheriff’s detectives have identified and arrested the suspect in the homicide of John Ercell Staton, 54, of Newburg, who was shot and killed on December 10 in the 100 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf.

The suspect, Fred Odell Scott Sr., 55, of Waldorf, was arrested on December 12 and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm during the commission of a crime and other related charges.

He is being held with no bond at the Charles County Detention Center. The suspect and victim were known to each other. The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE: Waldorf, MD – On December 10, 2019, at 3:09 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. A preliminary investigation revealed the suspect and victim were involved in an altercation in the parking lot of the shopping center when the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim multiple times.

The suspect then fled in a gray vehicle.

The victim, John Ercell Staton, 54, of Newburg, was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Detectives are pursuing leads.

This incident does not appear to be random. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Feldman at (301) 609-6474. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app. A cash reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for the tip that leads to an arrest in this case. The investigation is ongoing.