MURDER USA: Dead due to fatal gunshots fired by Fred Odell Scott, career criminal John Ercell Staton won’t be able to keep his looming court date; Scott only got 20 years in slammer for second-degree murder

MURDER USA: Dead due to fatal gunshots allegedly fired by Fred Odell Scott in parking lot of Smallwood Village, career criminal John Ercell Staton won’t be able to keep his looming court date


This update on the conviction of the murder of John Station is from Charles County States Attorney Anthony Covington:

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.”

Quick work by Charles County Detectives!

WALDORF, MD. – Soon to add to the prison population of Maryland after he allegedly eliminated a career criminal in a spate of gunfire two days earlier is a Waldorf man who either has a spotless criminal record or just got out of prison where he couldn’t rack up such a record. At this point, neither Maryland, DC., or Virginia shows a criminal record for the accused killer.


 Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports that detectives have identified and arrested the suspect in the homicide of John Ercell Staton, 54, of Newburg, Md., who was shot and killed on December 10, 2019, in the Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf.


Fred Odell Scott Sr. charged with murder on Dec. 12, 2019 in slaying of John Stanton at Smallwood Village Shopping Center.

The suspect, Fred Odell Scott Sr., 55, (DOB 02/01/1964) of 118 Stoddert Ave., Waldorf, Md., 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. Police say that the suspect and victim were known to each other.

WALDORF, MD. – Doing their best to maintain the reputation of Waldorf as a lawless town, two dirtbags engaged in a feud with one of them a better armed or, at least, a better shot, leaving one combatant drug dealer as dead as a doornail.

Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports that on December 10 at 3:09 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Smallwood Village Center in Waldorf for the report of a shooting.

 Police say that 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,(DOB 10/08/1965) of 1454 Veney Place, Issue, Md., was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Detectives are pursuing leads.

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.

Staton was charged on Oct. 5, 2019, by Charles County Sheriff Patrol Officer D. Harrison with theft and will now miss his court date set for Jan. 7, 2019.  It was Staton’s bad luck that he was released from jail on his own recognizance on Oct. 5, 2019.  The taxpayers should rejoice as they won’t have to fund the free lawyer Staton had been assigned. Dead men can tell no tales in court.

Staton pleaded guilty to theft in Charles County Circuit Court on Nov. 17, 2017, and picked up a nine-month sentence in the Charles County Jail.

Another guilty plea to theft on Dec. 5, 2014, in Charles County Circuit Court resulted in a sentence of 18 months.

Indicted by the Charles County Circuit Court Grand Jury on July 25, 2009, with armed robbery and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, use of a handgun in a violent crime, kidnapping, first-degree assault, and numerous other theft and gun felony charges in Charles County Circuit Court, John Ercell Staton got himself a nice plea deal from Charles County States Attorney Tony Covington on Dec. 2, 2008. THE DEAL: In return for a guilty plea to distribution of cocaine, the armed robbery charge and all of the other felony charges were dropped and Staton was sentenced to the Charles County Jail for 18 months.

From the 1990s until 2008, Staton had long periods of time where his criminal record was less interesting as he was incarcerated in West Virginia, where he filed a suit against Gov. Joe Machin over a dispute about not receiving dental care or an orientation when was incarcerated; and when he was working in the prison laundry in Sykesville, Maryland, Staton filed litigation against the Maryland Parole Commission.  On July 28, 2000, his complaint was dismissed.

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