Harris receives over 45 years for Murder, Possession of Weapon during Violent Crime

Freddy Ray Harris III (center, seated) smiles as the judge reads the jury’s verdict. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

After hearing his sentence, Harris turned to the spectators, pointed his hands like guns and stated, “Shoot Fire! Shoot Fire!”, which earned him an extra 6 months for Contempt of Court. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

By Stephan Drew, Editor


On Friday, July 14, 2023, Freddy Ray Harris III was found guilty of Murder and the Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime. He was also charged with Kidnapping but was found not guilty of that charge. The trial took place over several days last week, in connection with the 2019 death of Kurt Russell Scholl at a home on Racetrack Road. 

Harris testified during the trial and seemed to show no remorse throughout the trial, smiling on occasion as his actions were described. Just before sentencing, friends and family members of Scholl gave emotional pleas to Circuit Court Judge Paul Burch. Scholl’s mother stated, “I’ve had my heart broken before but, this has broken my soul.” When asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Harris stood and addressed the court. “I have nothing to be sorry for,” he said, “Did I want to kill the man? No. But, he left me no choice.” Harris’ grandmother, Vivian Harris, also addressed the court, saying her actions was partly the cause for his path in life. “I blame myself,” she said. Harris was also charged with Grand Larceny after investigators said he stole a vehicle at the same time.

Kurt Russell Scholl died on December 9, 2019, as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, inflicted by Harris. According to court testimony, Harris, unarmed, went to the residence specifically to confront Scholl. During the confrontation, Scholl presented a gun which was taken from him by Harris during the scuffle. As Scholl turned to flee, Harris shot him in the back and, as Scholl lay there, shot him twice in the head. He was also accused of the temporary abduction of Scholl’s girlfriend at the time and, thus, the kidnapping charge.

The trial was delayed due to the COVID pandemic. He was charged with, and found guilty of, Murder and given a 45 year sentence, minus the 1,013 days served. He was also found guilty of Possession of a Weapon during a Violent Crime and given 5 years, to run concurrently. He was found not guilty of kidnapping. Fourth Circuit Assistant Solicitor Mony Bell tried the case.

After hearing his sentence, Harris (with hands and feet shackled and surrounded by deputies), shaped his hands like guns, pointing and shaking them at all in the courtroom, stating, “Shoot fire! Shoot fire!”. Judge Burch declared this a threat to the entire courtroom and gave Harris an additional 6 months for contempt of court. 

Author: Stephan Drew

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