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Man Sentenced To Life In Prison In Charlotte 'Paperman' Slaying

police tape

In 2017, Walter Edwin Scott Jr. – known around town as "the paperman" — was delivering newspapers to an uptown Charlotte store when he was shot and killed. On Monday, a 25-year-old man was convicted of murder in Scott’s slaying and sentenced to life in prison.

Roger Timothy Best was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of firearm by a convicted felon, according to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office. Best’s trial lasted two weeks.

North Carolina law prohibits the possibility of parole for people convicted of first-degree murder.

Scott left his truck running just after 2:15 a.m. Feb. 15, 2017, as he went inside the 7-Eleven on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, across from Romare Bearden Park, to deliver copies of the Charlotte Observer. When Scott got back outside, two men approached him in an attempt to rob him. Prosecutors say Best was one of the robbers and that he pulled out a gun and shot Scott multiple times.

Scott, who was a volunteer constable in South Carolina, where he lived, pulled out his own gun and was able to fire off one shot, hitting Best.

Best and his accomplice ran off, prosecutors said. Scott collapsed and died at the scene.

The wounded Best flagged down a nearby police officer and asked for help. He was taken to a hospital, but police soon found a gun in a bush and a glove in a recycling bin near the scene of the shooting that had Best’s DNA on them. Prosecutors say surveillance cameras captured video of Best throwing the gun in the bush and that a glove in his pocket matched the one found in the bin.

The Observer says Scott, who was 65, started delivering papers as a teenager attending UNC Charlotte.

The second robbery suspect has never been identified.

Dash joined WFAE as a digital editor for news and engagement in 2019. Before that, he was a reporter for the Savannah Morning News in Georgia, where he covered public safety and the military, among other topics. He also covered county government in Gaston County, North Carolina, for its local newspaper, the Gazette.