Hilton Head Island murderer gets life sentence
BEAUFORT – A 30-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison late Thursday, February 28 for the May 2010 robbery and shooting death of a man at the Pinckney Island boat landing near Hilton Head Island.
At the conclusion of a three-day trial, jurors convicted Jerry Scantling of murder, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and possession of a stolen vehicle. Based on Scantling’s prior criminal record, he was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole.
On the night of May 22, 2010, Scantling lured 52-year-old Leonard Green to the boat landing located in between the two bridges that connect Hilton Head Island to the mainland. Green was shot twice, including once in the back. His body was found covered with palm fronds on the shore near the high-water mark.
After the murder, residents of a nearby apartment complex noticed Scantling driving the victim’s pickup truck and disposing of items in a dumpster. The truck was later found in Savannah and Scantling was arrested in Beaufort driving another stolen car.
A pair of headphones left at the boat landing matched Scantling’s DNA. A fellow inmate at the county jail testified that Scantling admitted to the murder.
“Our community is much safer without Jerry Scantling on our streets,” said deputy solicitor Sean Thornton. “He deserves every day of this life sentence.”
Scantling has prior convictions for burglary, armed robbery, strong arm robbery, possession of cocaine, trespassing, shoplifting, resisting arrest and petit larceny.
Judge Carmen T. Mullen presided over the trial.