FIRST ON FOX: A convicted California murderer whose death sentence Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon vacated this fall has died in prison, according to the victim’s family.
Scott Forrest Collins was 21 when he robbed and shot Fred Rose, a 41-year-old father of three, “execution style” in January 1992.
Gascon asked a judge to vacate Collins’ death sentence early last year, and in September he was removed from death row at San Quentin State Prison and transferred to the California Correctional Institution.
The death was confirmed by Rose’s daughter and her attorney Wednesday night.
He died around January 15, said Heather Scott, who was 12 at the time of her father’s murder. Autopsy results were pending and she has not yet learned Collins’ cause of death.
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California prison records show the killer was no longer listed in custody as of Wednesday night. After his death sentence was overturned, he was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
State corrections officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
News of Collins’ death comes just days after the shooting death of another Los Angeles criminal whose Gascón office went easy.
A 17-year-old hit-and-run driver who admitted to speeding down a back street in a stolen car and ramming a mother who was pushing her 8-month-old son in a stroller has been fatally shot in Palmdale. He had served a sentence of just a few months in a probation camp last year.
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Collins was on probation for another armed robbery when he killed Rose.
He was later charged with attempting to harm and intimidate witnesses and Rose’s family prior to trial.
Rose’s wife never remarried, Scott previously told Fox News Digital, who said in February that she felt abandoned by prosecutors when Gascon announced her decision.
“My feeling was that the detectives and the police department were out for justice, they wanted to know the truth,” he said of law enforcement in the 1990s. “They wanted to make sure they had the right person, and they didn’t stop until that they felt safe that they had him behind bars.
Back then, he added, the district attorney’s office was his “lawyer.”
“They fought for us, like you would fight for your own safety,” he said.
Gascon has long been a public opponent of the death penalty and his office told Fox News Digital last year that he did not intend to seek Collins’ release.
“We are not asking for his release, we are asking that his sentence be commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” Alex Bastian, who was special counsel to DA Gascon at the time, told Fox News Digital. “That’s something I think is important to keep in mind. We are not asking to resentence him to something that would put him in front of a parole board.”
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On January 23, 1992, Fred Rose left his Palmdale office for lunch. He never came back. Collins kidnapped him at gunpoint, used his debit card to withdraw $200 shortly after 4 pm in Northbridge, nearly 50 miles away, and shot him once in the head two hours later in North Hollywood.
Three witnesses heard gunshots and saw Rose’s Oldsmobile leaving the area. At around 8:45 a.m., a jogger found Rose on the ground near the train tracks in the neighborhood, but at first thought he was just drunk and didn’t call 911 until he passed him again on the way back and noticed the blood.
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He died the next day at the hospital. By then, Collins was more than 140 miles away in Bakersfield, hanging out at a friend’s house with Rose’s car. Collins and three others used the car in a nearby gang-related shooting, but no one was injured. They collided and were arrested. The other three later testified that Collins admitted to the murder.
Police found Rose’s wallet in the car, as well as a bullet matching the one used to kill him and an empty casing. Collins became a convicted murderer on September 30, 1993, and received a death sentence on November 2 of that year. In 1996, after an appeal, he was sentenced to death once more, and this was upheld after another appeal in 2010.
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Before killing Rose, Collins’ criminal history dated back to the mid-1980s, when he was still a minor and allegedly started a fire with a Molotov cocktail. Court documents show he was also charged with stabbing a man in the back, stealing a woman’s car, attacking a 15-year-old black youth while brandishing a knife and yelling racial slurs, threatening a cellmate with a knife. and kick the officers who inquired about the incident. .