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Bryan Bethea arraigned in beating death of his kids’ mother

Kevin and Kerri Wilson are seen in their

Kevin and Kerri Wilson are seen in their Bellport home on Aug. 15, 2016, holding a photo of their daughter Shantel Scott, who was killed in July. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

A Brentwood parolee was arraigned Monday in the death of his children’s mother, who was found unconscious in her Central Islip home last month after a party, authorities said.

Bryan Bethea, 29, was indicted on a charge of first-degree manslaughter in the death of Shantel Scott, 27, and was held in jail Monday with bail set at $600,000 bond or $300,000 cash, according to Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and court documents.

Bethea, on parole for a 2009 attempted robbery conviction, is accused of beating her during an overnight party that started July 2 and flung her body onto the concrete outside her Naples Avenue home, cracking her head, authorities said.

Bethea, the father of the youngest three of Scott’s four children, has denied any role in the woman’s death.

“She was attacked by two women and he had nothing to do with this,” said his attorney, George Duncan of Central Islip. “He actually had no role in this and he has said that from minute one. He cooperated fully with the investigation and looks forward to the truth coming out.”

But the victim’s mother and stepfather said the oldest of Scott’s two children, a girl, 9, and a boy, 3, witnessed part of the beating.

A resident of the house took Scott to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where she was pronounced dead, homicide detectives said in a brief news release at the time.

When the victim’s parents, Kevin and Kerri Wilson, got to the hospital 10 a.m. July 3, they said, the resident told them she went to investigate cries from Scott’s 14-month-old daughter, then saw the mother unconscious in bed with the girl and her 2-year-old boy.

Bethea also was there, and his shirt had a red stain the size of a grapefruit, said the Wilsons, of Bellport.

Scott’s face was swollen, her lips purple and blood trickled from her ears, recalled Kerri Wilson, a nurse, but doctors told them she could have been revived if she had been brought in earlier.

“She could have been saved if somebody had called police,” Kerri Wilson said. “I’m disgusted that people watched this happen and did nothing.”

He and Scott had met in middle school, and their on-off relationship over the years was troubled, her parents said.

Scott was trying to break off their relationship, but Scott, a telemarketer, had rented a room for her family in the house also rented by a co-worker, the girlfriend of Bethea’s brother, her parents said.

She cooked and helped pay for the party, a memorial for Bethea’s mother, and was getting her life back on track when she was killed, the Wilsons said.

Now, several of her children ask daily “Where’s Mommy?” said the couple, who are raising them. “They’re all so very young,” Kerri Wilson said. “Who among them is going to remember their mother? All they’re going to remember now are stories and pictures.”

Now that the Wilsons are taking care of their four grandchildren, they said they need a van for the expanded family. A fundraiser with music and a silent auction will be held 3 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 25 at the VFW Post on North Dunton Avenue in East Patchogue.

The couple has been trying to publicize domestic violence issues through Scott’s life. Their daughter had a “loud” and “vibrant” personality, they said, and was a strong mother who had only a handful of outfits for herself so she could buy her children toys, clothes and perhaps a “home with a white picket fence,” a dream that Bethea had promised her, the Wilsons said.

“She was not supposed to love him to death,” Kevin Wilson said, “and that’s ultimately what happened.”

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