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Man Charged In 1979 Murder Of 19-Year-Old Woman

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James Nathan Scott (credit: Denver District Attorney's Office)

James Nathan Scott (credit: Denver District Attorney’s Office)

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DENVER (CBS4) – A man accused in the 1979 murder of a young woman has been formally charged.

According to Lynn Kimbrough with the district attorney’s office, James Nathan Scott, 52, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and six counts of crime of violence.

The charges are in connection with the assault that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Martha Guzman, who was found beaten in the sanctuary of a Denver church on Oct. 25, 1979.

“Guzman was alone in a church at 3401 Bryant preparing for an evening service when she was attacked,” Kimbrough said in a statement. “The pastor and his family found her and called for help.”

Guzman died several days later in the hospital from her injuries.

According to Kimbrough, In 2006 Scott was extradited to Denver from New York in connection with a 1995 sexual assault and kidnapping case.

“He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Detectives identified Scott as a suspect in Guzman’s murder at that time, and he was charged in connection with the case,” Kimbrough said. “However, a legal restriction prevented the murder case from going forward at that time since Scott had been brought to Colorado for the sole purpose of facing the charges in the 1995 case.”

Kimbrough said the Guzman murder charges were re-filed last fall and he was brought back to Denver earlier this week.

Scott is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

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