The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Downtown Long Beach. File photo.
The Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Downtown Long Beach. File photo.

A Bellflower man was sentenced Friday to nine years in state prison for causing a Long Beach woman’s death by punching her in the face, according to court records.

Lawrence Jackson, 20, punched 72-year-old Barbara Scott on Aug. 21, 2021, when she tried to intervene in an argument, according to authorities. She died nearly a month later as a result of the punch, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office.

Jackson pleaded no contest earlier this year to one count of elder abuse and admitted the special allegation that he caused Scott’s death. He previously faced a murder charge but it was dismissed during his sentencing on Sept. 29, pursuant to a plea agreement with prosecutors.

On the day of the crime, Scott was in an alleyway near Redondo Avenue and 10th Street where she often fed stray cats, according to her sister Tracy Scott, when she witnessed a dispute between Jackson and a woman, police said.

When the 72-year-old tried to stop the argument, Jackson walked over and punched her in the face, according to details from a coroner’s report. Jackson and the woman he was with then fled the scene, police said.

“The guy didn’t like what she had to say, so he hit her,” Tracy Scott told the Post last year.

First responders arrived a couple of minutes later and found Barbara Scott. Paramedics provided immediate aid, but she refused to be transported to a local hospital, opting to return to her apartment instead, according to witness accounts contained in the medical examiner’s report.

Nearly seven hours later, a neighbor checked on Barbara Scott and found her unconscious, authorities said. Barbara Scott was hospitalized and underwent surgery to reduce swelling in her brain.

Following the surgery, Barbara Scott, who is a military veteran, was transferred to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach and later discharged to a nursing home where she died on Sept. 16, 2021.

An autopsy revealed that she died as a result of a subdural hematoma caused by blunt head trauma. Authorities ruled her death was a homicide after additional tests showed her death was related to the punch in the face.

Police launched a homicide investigation a few days later and eventually identified Jackson as a suspect. He was taken into custody on suspicion of murder during a traffic stop in Bellflower on July 6, 2022.