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Man sentenced to 30 years for fatal beating

Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 19:27:14-04

A judge has sentenced a man to thirty years in prison for beating 37-year-old Rusty Bitton to death beneath in the Connector in downtown Boise during 2014.

Scotty D. Turnbull was initially charged with aggravated battery and battery following his arrest on October 28th for an unrelated incident involving a woman and a cyclist.

Police reported at the time that Turnbull beat a woman so severely, she had to be hospitalized.

Turnbull had no permanent address at the time of his arrest and was believed to have been living in or around a makeshift homeless camp near the area.

Bitton was found beaten to death underneath a pile of clothes south of the encampment.

Turnbull was charged with aggravated battery but after reviewing the evidence, Ada County Prosecutors amended one of the charges to 2nd-degree murder on January 15th, 2015.

Turnbull was sentenced to 15 years determinate for the 2nd-degree murder charge and sentenced to 15 years indeterminate for aggravated battery. He will also be required to pay fines totaling $1490. The battery charge was dismissed by the court.

Following the death of Bitton, family members issued this statement:

“The family of Rusty Bitton would like to thank the Boise Police Department for their hard work and dedication. They have treated this case with urgency and efficiency, regardless of the fact that Rusty was homeless.  Rusty had a great sense of humor, and we will always miss the laughter our family shared with him. Rusty would always help someone in need.  He was kind, intelligent, talented, and compassionate.  We loved him dearly and he loved us. We all miss him terribly.  We are grateful to those in the Boise community that came forward with information that helped in the case."