James Scott, serial rapist, charged with killing woman praying at church -- in 1979
In October 1979, nineteen-year-old Martha Guzman was found naked and bleeding in the sanctuary of a Denver church. She died a few days later.
Photos, video below.
Now, after well over three decades, James Scott, a convicted serial rapist, has been formally accused of the crime. And according to an arrest warrant shared here, he actually confessed to killing Guzman in 2007, more than six years ago.
Why the delay? See details, photos and a video below.
At about 6:45 p.m. on October 25, 1979, according to the affidavit, Guzman, who stood just four-feet nine-inches in height and weighed only 97 pounds, was found on the sanctuary floor at the Spanish Church of God, located at 3401 Bryant Street.
She was nude and had been badly beaten, and the area near where her body was discovered showed signs of a struggle: furniture and items from the church's altar had been tossed about (the collection plate's handle was broken off) and Guzman's bloody clothing was strewn on the floor.
Guzman, who possessed a key to the church and had been scheduled to arrive early to prepare for evening services, was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition.
James Scott in a 2008 image from 7News.
She died on November 1, and an autopsy afterward identified her cause of death as extensive brain trauma from blunt force blows to the head. She also suffered extensive wounds and tearing to her vaginal area.
Meanwhile, witnesses told police about seeing an African-American man walking a Doberman Pinscher near the church before Guzman's body was discovered -- a tip that led them to Edward Cole (also known as Edward Scott), the owner of two Dobermans who lived in the area. He told investigators that James Scott, who shared Cole's residence, had been walking one of the dogs when he returned home around 6 p.m. on the evening of Guzman's death.
Cole said Scott told him he'd met "some chick," but she wouldn't "give him no play" because she was afraid of the dog. He also admitted to having hurt his hand, which was bleeding and sported fresh scratches.
This information was enough for the cops to target Scott. But a witness who'd seen the man with the Doberman was only 60-70 percent sure Scott was the person he'd eyeballed after looking at a photo lineup that included a pic of the suspect. And a woman who'd also spotted an African-American man with a Doberman turned out to suffer from dementia.
As such, the case against Scott fell apart -- and it would take many years before it was revived.
Continue for more about the murder charge against James Scott, including photos, a video and the arrest affidavit.