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Episode 96: James Scandirito Jr. Trial Testimony

  In 2000, the Honorable James “Skip” Scandirito, a Michigan county court judge, had his judge’s license revoked in 2002 after sexual misconduct allegations. Women had accused him of offering leniency for their charges in return for sexual favors. In the case of a 22-year-old female defendant charged with drunk driving, for example, the judge suggested she meet him at a bar to talk over her case. After his resignation, Scandirito retired to Boca Raton, Fla., where he spent his time quietly playing golf, barbecuing with friends, and taking care of the neighborhood’s stray cats–until, in March 2018, parts of his body were found buried at an abandoned golf course.

The last person to see the former judge was his son, James “Jimmy” Scandirito Jr., who initially claimed his father, 74, was missing after not returning from a kayaking trip with a new lady friend he’d met on the golf course. However, Junior later came clean and admitted he’d cut up his father’s body with a hand saw–although he insists he didn’t kill his father.

On the stand, Scandirito claims he’d been watching TV with his dad while doing cocaine (out of something like an “hors d’oeuvres” dish), although his father had a “good enough buzz” from beer and didn’t want to indulge. Scandirito said he went outside to smoke a cigarette, and returned to find his father dead on the floor, and the cocaine knocked over. He assumed his father had died of an overdose, and cut up the body in a drug-fueled paranoia. Prosecutors said Scandirito killed his father to get the older man’s money, since was bad with finances and had been no longer able to support his desired standard of living.

Scandirito Jr. was found guilty of dismembering his father’s body (which proved negative for cocaine), but not guilty of murder. He faces up to 15 year in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Listen to the episode here.