It was a turbulent marriage in crisis. Lori Gellatly had
grown so terrified of her husband Scott that she’d fled to her parents’ home
for refuge with her baby twins.
children, but it wasn’t enough. Scott hunted her down and aimed a gun at the
one person Lori couldn’t live without. “Don’t kill my mommy,” Lori
cried. That was her last breath. She made a sacrifice that proved what a
special woman she really was.
marriage that was beyond repair. Scott was Lori’s first husband, while Scott
had been married before. He was already a dad of two when they met and the
couple had twins – a boy and a girl.
Scott, a fire sprinkler installer, had a fierce temper and controlled his
wife’s every move. Lori was very close to her mum, Merry Jackson – a
relationship Scott tried to tear apart, but their bond could withstand
her husband, she sought refuge at her parents’ home in Oxford, Connecticut,
with her 18-month-old twins. Like always, Merry was there when Lori needed her.
Lori went to the police and a warrant for Scott’s arrest was
issued for a misdemeanour assault charge. Lori told police she was afraid of
Scott, and that he’d ‘twisted her arm’ in an argument. Three temporary
restraining orders were issued to stop him coming near Lori and her mum.
turn himself in. Instead, he drained the family bank account and left the
state. Then he posted false accusations on Facebook about Lori being
home and at 5.30am, while Scott tried to break into the house, a terrified Lori
dialled 911. But Scott forced his way in and a raging argument began.
Lori begged her husband to stop. “Don’t kill Mommy,” she cried. Lori
threw herself in front of her mum and was shot four times in the head and
torso, dying instantly. Merry suffered a gunshot wound to the head and the
family dog was injured.
Scott fled in Lori’s car, leaving the twins unharmed in
their beds. Police reacted instantly to the threat. Schools in the area were
put on lockdown and officers searched for Scott by foot, car and helicopter. He
was eventually found six hours later sitting in his own truck in the car park
of a fast food restaurant. There was a hose leading from the exhaust pipe into
the vehicle in an apparent suicide attempt.
left eye and was left with pain in her legs – and the constant agony of losing
on a bond of £1.4 million. The case came to the attention of domestic violence
campaigners, who urged for tougher gun laws for those under restraining orders.
plead guilty to murder and attempted murder charges in exchange for a sentence
of 45 years. As part of an Alford Plea, he didn’t admit his guilt but conceded
there was enough evidence to secure a conviction.
many of Lori’s supporters attending that they had to move to a bigger room to
fit everyone in. As Scott mumbled the word ‘guilty’ there were gasps of relief
from Lori’s loved ones.
courtroom. “God has forgiven me already. Lori is an angel and I will see
her in heaven.” When he said he wasn’t the ‘monster’ prosecutors portrayed
him to be, one of Lori’s supporters said, “Yes, you are.” Scott
added, “I made a mistake and it was a very big mistake. I didn’t do it on
wife’s life and trying to take your mother-in-law’s life is not a mistake. It
was a contemplative, calculated intentional act by you and you clearly knew and
understood what the consequences of that act would be. There’s virtually zero
chance you will ever see the light of day.”
daughter, which Scott tried to destroy. “He couldn’t pull her away from me
and he couldn’t handle it. Lori and I had a bond that no one could break.”
last act to protect her.
to her husband Doug. “I would trade places with her in a heartbeat.”
know about the type of person she was. “She saved her mother’s life. She
knew she was going to die.”
Outside court, Merry, 64, was emotional. She said it was a
‘big victory’ for her daughter.
truth, I would like the death penalty but it’s not possible,” she said.
“I feel this is a life sentence for him. He’s not going to have a good
life and he doesn’t deserve one. He took an angel that day and he tried to kill
Violence Survivor Protection Act’, a bill that would prevent anyone with a
temporary restraining order having access to a gun.
Along with her family, Merry will continue to campaign to
protect others in Lori’s memory. Her bravery will never be forgotten.