Trial Set For Man Accused Of Plot — (The Commercial Appeal)

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The Commercial Appeal

June 1, 1991

Author: Jeffrey M. Fleming The Commercial Appeal Jackson, Tenn., Bureau

Union City businessman Phillip Scarborough will go on trial June 24, accused of plotting a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a business associate.   Scarborough, 43, remains jailed without bond at the Federal Correction Institution in Memphis. If convicted of all four counts in the indictment, he faces up to 35 years in prison and nearly $1 million in fines.

Scarborough is accused of trying last year to hire Wayne Kilday, an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent, to cross the Kentucky state line and kill William Homra, 58, of Fulton. Homra was a co- owner with Scarborough in a Union City theater. The indictment, handed down Dec. 3 by a federal grand jury, said Scarborough tried to pay Kilday $2,000 to kill Homra.

The investigation is continuing and more charges, including arson, mail fraud and wire fraud, are possible. The next federal grand jury meets here June 17. Asst. U.S. Atty. Steve Parker, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment since the case is pending.

Friday’s hearing was delayed four hours while Scarborough, who has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers considered a plea agreement. ”There was a lot of bargaining, just no sale,” said Wayne Emmons, 53, of Memphis.

”He doesn’t have anything much to lose by going to trial,” said Charles Kelly, 49, of Dyersburg. Kelly and Emmons took over Scarborough’s case about two months ago.

Emmons said Scarborough’s defense would center on his ”mental state. The question is, is he guilty because of his mental state. Did he intend to commit these acts? Or was he so messed up that he’s not responsible for his actions?”

Emmons said Scarborough was taking Prozac ”pretty heavily” when the incidents occurred. Prozac is a controversial anti-depressant drug that some claim induces suicidal tendencies and other bizarre behavior.

During a bond hearing May 7 Scarborough admitted to the allegations in the indictment, but said he did it only to try to get federal authorities to take a look at several pieces of his property that had burned as well as threats made against him.

Scarborough was the subject of several bizarre incidents between May and November that included suspected arsons of more than a half-dozen pieces of property owned by Scarborough. In October, he disappeared for several days. He called his attorney the day after he disappeared and said he was being held against his will by two men. But when he showed up two days later, he said he had been away on business and that reports he’d been kidnapped were due to a misunderstanding.

Scarborough, whose assets are tied up in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, owned Scarborough & Co. Inc., a roofing, heating, air conditioning and construction firm.

Copyright 1991, 1994 The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN
Record Number:  00153075