Noah Scott, 24, and his fiancee, Loretta White, 18, were living in the Orangewood Village Mobile Home Park in Lakeland, Florida. At the time, White was about five months pregnant with the couple’s first child.
On the evening of October 12, 2001, Mark Poole broke into the couple’s home as they were sleeping. White awoke in the middle of the night with a pillow being placed over her face and an intruder sitting on top of her. Poole began to rape her and sexually assault her, demanding to know where the money was.
Poole repeatedly struck White with a tire iron, severing two of her fingers and causing her to move in and out of consciousness. During the attack, Scott attempted to stop Poole but was repeatedly struck in the head with the tire iron, rendering him unconscious.
At some point after the attack, Poole left the bedroom to collect a cache of video games and game equipment. Before leaving, Poole re-entered the bedroom, touched her vaginal area and said “thank you.”
White regained consciousness the next morning and called 911. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene. White was found severely injured in the hallway adjacent to the bedroom with multiple face and head wounds and missing part of her fingers. Some of the laceration to her head were so deep they exposed her skull.
Medical reports indicated that Scott was struck at least 13 times in the head.
Several witnesses told police officers that they saw Poole or a man matching Poole’s description near the victims’ home on the night of the attacks.
White testified that Scott had owned a Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, and a Super Nintendo. The night of the attacks, Poole sold the gaming systems to Ventura Rico, a man who lived in the same mobile home park as the victims. DNA analysis confirmed that the blood found on the Sega Genesis box, Sega Dreamcast box, and the Super Nintendo matched the DNA profile of Scott.
A vaginal swab confirmed that the semen found in White was that of Mark Poole. A stain found on the left sleeve of one of Poole’s shirts police found in his home matched White’s blood type. A footwear examination revealed that one of the two footwear impressions found on a notebook in the victim’s trailer matched Poole’s left Vans shoe. The tire iron used in the crimes was found underneath a motor home near the victims’ home.
After surviving the attack, Loretta White gave birth to a baby boy.
Florida Commission on Capital Cases