If you’re a fan of crime investigation shows, most episodes begin with something to the effect of: “the following is a reenactment based on actual events”. Viewers appear to be watching a sensationalized version of a crime filled with actors and commentary from police, prosecutors, the assailant’s kindergarten teacher, etc.
Well in the case of one Dallas man, art imitated life and his appearance on the A&E series, “The First 48” nearly cost him his life. According to the Dallas News, Michael Kenneth Scott shot an unidentified man and woman who’s account of a crime was featured on an episode of the show about homicide investigations.
The attorney for the male victim, Don Tittle, says the show portrayed his client as a “snitch” when it aired an episode about the death of Jamaican drug dealer Donovan Reid.
During a taped conversation, the man, who also has a past criminal history, told Dallas Homicide Detective Rick Duggan that another drug dealer and thief named Deon Bell (known in the streets as “21”) was responsible for Reid’s death.
A&E obtained this footage and aired it. Since the production company, Kirkstall Road Enterprises, did not have the man’s written consent to use his image and likeness in the episode, his face was blurred and his voice was altered but his lawyer claims his client’s, “entire body was visible such that his size, height, skin color, clothing, and mannerisms were visible to the viewer.”
The man also said the footage was edited in such a way that he was made to look like a police informant, which he denies. However, he was repeatedly recognized from the episode and began receiving death threats.
The man says he was at a night club when Scott called him a “snitch” before shooting him and his companion.
“Why would I retaliate for something I haven’t even heard about?” Scott claims he never saw the episode, he’s since been apprehended and charged with aggravated assault
The male victim, who identified Scott as his shooter before he went into surgery, spent 10 days in intensive care. He is seeking over $1 million in damages from Kirkstall Road Enterprises.