Mother of convicted rapist attacks ABC30 camera

May 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The mother of a convicted rapist had a violent outburst in court Tuesday, and the victim was an Action News photographer.

Gail Scarber was in court fighting charges she helped her son, Spencer, escape to Mexico to avoid prison.

The Scarber family walked out of court and into the view of an Action News camera, as they've done many times before. But this walk ended much differently.

In the video, take another look as Gail Scarber delivers a blindsided smack to the lens, jerking the camera shot upwards as an Action News photographer recovered from the blow to his face.

Her attorney had already passed the camera before the attack, so he didn't see it in person, but when an Action News reporter showed him, even he couldn't defend her.

"There's no excuse for Gail's conduct," said defense attorney Charles Magill. "She's a good person. She's a good woman who's in a horrific circumstance and all I can do is explain her conduct and how distraught she is."

Scarber's troubles started in 2011 when her son, Spencer, was arrested for raping a neighbor's housekeeper. Fresno County sheriff's investigators say Gail and other family members sneaked Spencer out of the country in the middle of his trial. Her attorney says Gail is convinced her family is being railroaded.

"What I saw and what I've observed, you've shown me, is consistent with that fear or concern that everybody's out to get her," Magill said. "[The photographer's] mere presence was another symbol of the people that are there to protect her are out to get her."

But the violent outburst in court won't help her prove any conspiracy theory, according to ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi.

"This doesn't bode well for any potential jurors who may see this," he said. "This will not help her if she ends up going to trial on this particular case."

It'll be up to the attorney general's office whether to file new charges against Gail Scarber for the attack. She's due back in court next month. Cameras will be waiting.


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