Charles Rex Scott, Caddo Parish’s district attorney, was found dead Wednesday morning inside his hotel room at the Cook Hotel and Conference Center on LSU’s campus.
Scott, the 67-year-old district attorney for the state’s 1st Judicial District who formerly served as a judge in northwest Louisiana for more than three decades, was found dead by a few people he was traveling with after he missed a meeting early Wednesday morning, said Dr. Todd Thoma, Caddo Parish’s coroner.
There was no evidence of foul play in Scott’s death, Thoma said.
“He was a man of integrity,” said Thoma, who knew Scott well and worked closely with him. “It’s a tragedy that this happened. He’s got a wonderful family.”
Dr. Beau Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, said Scott appeared to die from natural causes. A full autopsy will be conducted in Caddo Parish because natural death investigations are typically handled by the coroner’s office where the deceased person lived, Clark said.
Capt. Cory Lalonde, an LSU police spokesman, said officers responded to the Cook hotel, located on West Lakeshore Drive near Sorority Row, at about 8:15 a.m. to find Scott unresponsive in his hotel room. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene.
“There were no suspicious circumstances,” Lalonde said. “There was nothing to indicate any sign of foul play.”
Hillar Moore III, East Baton Rouge Parish’s district attorney, said Scott was in Baton Rouge for a Louisiana District Attorneys Association board meeting and also for some legislative matters. Moore said he met with Scott Tuesday and was scheduled to meet with him again Wednesday morning and evening.
“He was kind and gentle,” Moore said. “Always professional and even-handed.”
Moore said Scott focused on children, juvenile justice and domestic violence in his role as district attorney and previously during some of his judicial positions. Scott served as a city court judge in Shreveport and as a district court judge in Caddo Parish, Moore said.
Scott also served as a relief juvenile court judge in Caddo Parish and an ad-hoc appellate judge on the state’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport, according to a biography of Scott on one of his campaign websites.
“This guy’s been a tremendous public servant all of his life,” Moore said.
Scott, who succeeded a longtime incumbent as Caddo Parish’s district attorney after being elected to the position in 2008, served as president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association as recently as two years ago. Moore, who is now president of the District Attorneys Association, said he often looked to Scott as a mentor and planned to lean on him for advice for a long time.
“Caddo’s DA’s Office is going to miss him tremendously,” Moore said. “But I think the entire state will feel the impact” of his death.
Dale Cox, Caddo Parish’s first assistant district attorney who now will serve as the acting district attorney, described Scott as an easygoing, well-liked man with a long history of dedication to public service.
“He was dedicated to treating everybody equally,” Cox said. “That was one of his great strengths.”
Cox said Scott was an excellent administrator who will be “widely and deeply missed.”
Scott is survived by his wife, Alexis Scott, two children and several grandchildren.
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