Common Pleas Court Judge Scott O’Keefe on Friday sentenced Aaron K. Scott to 30 to 60 years in prison for an October 2021 shooting that left one man dead and a teenager injured near Rowland and Ryan avenues in Mayfair.
Scott, of nearby Aldine Street, had previously pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges in the shooting death of Jeffrey Carter and the shooting of Ivan Cuevas.
Third-degree murder carries a maximum 20 to 40 years in prison. However, by pleading guilty, not having a criminal record and having a license for the gun, Scott had a chance to get a lighter sentence.
The hearing was emotional, as Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore presented victim impact statements from Cuevas, his family and Carter’s family.
In the end, O’Keefe sentenced Scott to the maximum 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder, along with 10 to 20 years for attempted murder. He ordered that those sentences be served consecutively.
Scott and his family seemed surprised and upset at the sentencing.
In general, Cuevas, his family and Carter’s family seemed pleased, though Pescatore asked for a sentence of 35 to 70 years.
Scott’s parents, Alverna and Anna, along with his brother Allan, grandmom and two cousins were in court supporting him. Anna Scott described him as caring and kind, adding that he had a mild temperament since he was a baby.
Cuevas, now an 18-year-old senior at Abraham Lincoln High School, was an innocent bystander in a large crowd of students when he was shot in the neck, near the back of his head. He spent two months in the hospital, including his 17th birthday on a ventilator, and continues to recover. He sometimes has trouble with his balance when he walks.
“He took everything from me,” Cuevas testified in court. “I can’t live life normally.”
Natali Rosario, Ivan’s mom, said the shooting of her son has scarred her for life. She has panic attacks whenever she sits at the red light at Rowland and Ryan. She describes Ivan’s recovery as “a miracle with difficulties.”
Carter, 65, of Fox Chase, was driving by the intersection as Lincoln was dismissing. He was shot in the head and transported to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead later in the afternoon.
Scott was arrested on the scene.
Carter was in the area to drop off a dress for his granddaughter’s 16th birthday.
“He was kind, caring and always willing to help,” testified his granddaughter, Alyse Jewell, a senior at St. Hubert.
Also speaking for Carter were his brother-in-law, Dennis Meyer; daughters Samantha and Ashley; and Steve Phillips, president of Fox Chase Town Watch.
Also, Pescatore read a letter from Elizabeth Carter, Jeffrey’s widow, who was in court. The two were married almost 47 years. A recent retiree, Jeffrey shoveled neighbors’ snow and performed other good deeds.
“Every day of his life, he helped people,” Elizabeth Carter said in her letter.
Ashley Carter described her dad as an “amazing human being.”
Samantha Carter described her dad as a “family man” who was overjoyed when he became a grandfather on his 50th birthday. He loved spending time at a summer beach house, decorating for Christmas and watching the Phillies and Eagles. Now, Samantha said, her two children are without a grandfather and often have to pass by Rowland and Ryan, the scene of the crime, heading to or from St. Hubert and St. Matthew.
Phillips said he knew Carter for 10 years, and that he often fixed appliances for Fox Chase senior citizens at no cost.
“Many times, Jeffrey gave of himself,” Phillips said.
In court, defense attorney Joe Schultz described his client as a mail carrier who in the past has served food to the homeless, but as someone who also dealt with mental issues. He was going to get pizza when the incident happened. Schultz – who was joined in the defense by Stephen Stewart – said that Scott, at the young age of 22, can be treated and rehabilitated.
Pescatore said Scott was at the scene to settle a score with someone who had an issue with his younger brother, adding that it’s a miracle more people weren’t shot. The prosecutor said her request of 35 to 70 years was a “gift” to Scott.
“These people all have a life sentence,” she said of Cuevas, his family and Carter’s family.
Scott apologized and said he has been and can continue to be a productive member of society.
Before issuing his sentence, O’Keefe called it a “senseless, terrible, cowardly shooting.” ••