Jarod Thomas Lane
King County Prosecutors on Tuesday officially charged 19-year-old Jarod Thomas Lane with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in the death of his former high school girlfriend, 17-year-old Jessica Scholl. Lane was apprehended in Oklahoma City Monday, and on Tuesday reportedly appeared without a lawyer and waived his extradition in Oklahoma County court.
Jarod Thomas Lane
On Friday morning at 7:54 a.m. the Renton Fire Department was called to Scholl's home on SE 164th Street in Renton. According to charging documents a passerby reported seeing smoke coming from the home - described as a single-family residence. Upon arriving at the scene firefighters discovered a burning couch inside the home - as well as Scholl, who was laying on the kitchen floor with her stockings pulled down to mid-thigh. Firefighters noted Scholl appeared to have suffered "substantial facial injuries," according to charging documents, as well as multiple stab wounds. Though firefighters pulled her from the blaze and attempted to perform CPR, Scholl was pronounced dead at the scene and Renton police were called in to investigate.
Renton police soon determined that Scholl lived at the home with her mother and father, both of whom had already left for work at the time of the murder. Scholl's father told authorities that his daughter should have been at Lindbergh High School. He also told authorities that she'd recently broken up with Lane after a two-year "romantic relationship," according to charging documents.
Prosecutors say a guest staying at the house directly across from Scholl's ventured outside for a cigarette at about 6:24 a.m. the morning of the murder and witnessed a young male engaged in a "serious conversation" through the open front door with someone inside the house. Providing authorities with a description consistent with Lane, down to the bangs, the witness told authorities that she saw the same young male heading away from the house about 45 minutes later. The witness later picked Lane from a photo lineup, though she told police she couldn't be 100-percent certain about the identification as she'd only seen the suspect's profile.
Another witness, this one a 16-year-old Lindbergh High School student, told authorities that he walked past Scholl's house at about 6:40 a.m. and saw Scholl arguing with Lane on her front porch. Charging documents indicate this witness knew both Scholl and Lane from school, as Lane had graduated from Lindbergh the year prior. This witness was "100% sure" it was Scholl and Lane arguing.
Renton police went on to interview a number of Scholl and Lane's other friends.
From charging documents:
Renton police detectives spoke to several of the defendants and Jessica's close friends. All of them consistently stated that Jessica broke up with the defendant about a week prior. The defendant had not reacted well to the breakup and was distraught and depressed. Friends saw cut marks this past week on one of the defendant's forearms. The defendant had said he cut himself due to the breakup.
Tragically, charging documents indicate another one of Scholl's friends, a boy she'd once dated, may have been communicating with her during the moments leading up to her murder.
From charging documents:
On the morning of May 25, 2012 around 6:14 a.m. [Scholl's male friend]received a text from Jessica saying "OMG". He responded asking what was wrong. Jessica texted at 6:15 a.m. "Jarod wont leave me alone ... PLZ call him and tell him to leave me alone ...PLZ..." At 6:17 a.m. [Scholl's male friend] texted her "do you want me to do it right now'. At 6:18 a.m. she answered 'yes". [Scholl's male friend] called the defendant. The defendant was crying. The defendant told [Scholl's male friend] that he (the defendant) was at her door right now and wanted to see her face one last time. If he could do that, the defendant said, he would leave her alone. [Scholl's male friend] called Jessica. Jessica said she didn't want the defendant to come into her house. The defendant called [Scholl's male friend] back and again asked [Scholl's male friend] to get Jessica to let him (the defendant) in. [Scholl's male friend] called Jessica back and told her to call police. Jessica said she would just open the door and yell at the defendant because he would just go away. [Scholl's male friend] didn't hear from either one of them for about 30 minutes. At about 7:30 a.m. the defendant called [Scholl's male friend] back and said something like, "...maybe you should ask her out again, she needs someone, hey you should ask her out." [Scholl's male friend] said the defendant was very calm during this last phone call.
Charging documents indicate that shortly after 8 a.m. Lane's mother called 911 after receiving an alarming phone call from her son in which he said "I've done something I'm not proud of, I have to run away," and told her he loved her. Worried, Lane's mother asked police to check for him at the family's residence, but when authorities responded no one was home. A short time later, around 8:25 a.m. her husband called Lane who reportedly told him he loved him and that he had to go. The couple last saw Lane the night prior, around 6 p.m., when they'd left home to go shopping.
According to charging documents Lane's mother checked for activity on his bank card and discovered a purchase at a 7-Eleven located about a mile from Scholl's house at 9:51 p.m. on May 24. Lane also purchased gas at a 76 station in North Bend the following morning at 8:29 a.m. - presumably following Scholl's murder.
According to prosecutors, a friend of Lane's told authorities he heard from him shortly after the murder.
From charging documents:
Stephen Johnson, the defendant's friend who lives in Yuma, Arizona, told Detective Hansen that the defendant called him on May 25, 2012 at about 8:00 a.m. The defendant told Johnson, "I killed her." Johnson said the defendant didn't say who he killed but Johnson knew who he was talking about. Johnsons said it was a short conversation and the defendant didn't go into any details. He said the defendant didn't seem upset, he just seemed to be calling to say goodbye and told Johnson he was going to Mexico.
Charging documents indicate blood was found in three rooms of the Scholl house - the kitchen, the bathroom and Jessica's bedroom. Investigators also found a knife with its blade broken off in the kitchen, along with another knife handle that appeared to be from the same set. A dented frying pan with a broken handle was also found in the kitchen. The King County Medical Examiner determined Scholl died from "multiple stab and incised wounds, blunt force injuries, and potential ligature strangulation," according to charging documents. Preliminary autopsy results cited in the court papers indicate Scholl was dead before the fire was set.
A day after the murder prosecutors say Lane spoke with his mother by phone, telling her he'd driven through Colorado and St. Louis, had stolen a Colorado license plate for his car, and that he was on his way to Mexico. Lane reported having $1000 in cash he'd saved from work along with $300 he'd stolen from Scholl's parents.
Most telling, Lane reportedly told his mother that he'd gone to Scholl's house just to talk to her, but that when she'd told him she'd was seeing someone else he "just snapped," according to charging documents. Prosecutors say Lane's mother asked if he'd killed Jessica, at which point he told her he had.
On Monday Lane's 2001 Mazda Protégé was found near Guthrie, Oklahoma. That same day Lane was reportedly communicating with a friend via Facebook who urged him to contact police, not believing his friend was guilty of Scholl's murder. According to charging documents Lane responded, "I'm not stupid, they know I did it."
Lane was apprehended by Oklahoma City police and Oklahoma state troopers Monday after his Protégé was found near Interstate 35 just north of Oklahoma City. Seattle Times reports King County has 10 days to bring Lane back to Washington.
Find charging documents filed against Jarod Thomas Lane on the next page ...
Charging documents filed yesterday in King County court against Jarod Thomas Lane in the murder of Jessica Scholl: