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Divorce filing and arrest come before Dade City couple's murder-suicide

DADE CITY — In a matter of days, things seemed to go from bad to worse for Terry Wayne Scott.

Scott spent four days in the Pasco County jail after an April 17 arrest on charges of grand theft. Two days after his release, Scott's wife of 10 years filed for divorce.

At some point, apparently, it became too much to handle.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Scott, 59, fatally shot his wife, Veronica, and then killed himself Saturday at their Dade City home.

"There had been some animosity from him toward her because of the divorce," said Kevin Doll, a spokesman with the Sheriff's Office.

Detectives were still investigating the shooting deaths Sunday, looking for more clues into what might have led to the grisly scene they found at the couple's mobile home at 14507 Mount Zion Road. The home sits on 2 acres of mostly sprawling pasture, far back from the road and down a long sandy drive, barely visible at night.

Deputies were sent to the home about 8 p.m. Saturday to check on the pair, Doll said. Veronica Scott, a registered nurse, had not shown up for work that day and a co-worker was concerned.

Earlier in the day, neighbors reported gunshots in the area but mostly thought nothing of it in such a rural area.

"We wouldn't have had any reason to respond until we got the welfare check," Doll said. "And these are big yards, multi-acre properties. ... Gunshots probably aren't all that uncommon out there."

When deputies arrived at the home, they found the bodies of Veronica, 48, and Terry Scott in the garage.

Preliminary information indicates that Terry Scott first shot and killed his wife and then shot himself with a handgun. Doll wouldn't comment on whether a suicide note had been left.

But according to public records, it's clear Terry Scott had been having a rough couple of weeks.

Scott was arrested by the Zephyrhills Police Department on April 17 for grand theft. He was released from jail on April 20 after posting $2,500 bail.

A copy of the arrest report couldn't immediately be obtained from the police, and Doll didn't know details of the arrest.

Then on April 22, Veronica Scott filed for divorce. The Scotts, who were both previously divorced, lived at the Dade City home with her teenage son.

The teen was not home at the time of the shootings. Doll was not sure if Terry Scott was the father of the boy.

A day after the shootings, most neighbors still had not heard news of the grim discovery at the Scotts' home. And mostly due to the secluded and sprawling nature of the rural area, few knew much about the couple and their son.

"We saw a bunch of cars coming in and out of that area last night," said Ruth Blessing, who lives farther down the road on Mount Zion. "We had no clue. That's awful news."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Divorce filing and arrest come before Dade City couple's murder-suicide 05/03/09 [Last modified: Sunday, May 3, 2009 9:44pm]
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