Man who molested, strangled South Bay boys in 1993 died on death row

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SAN DIEGO — A man who was awaiting execution for the murder of two South Bay boys in 1993 died of COVID-19 complications on San Quentin’s death row, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Scott Thomas Erskine, 57, was sentenced to death 15 years ago for the March 27, 1993, deaths of 13-year-old Charlie Keever and 9-year-old Jonathan Sellers. He and another death row inmate, 59-year-old Manuel Machado Alvarez, died Friday at outside hospitals, department officials said.

Milena Phillips, the mother of Jonathan Sellers, wrote on Facebook: “Today I received a call informing me that the murderer of our beautiful Jonathan and Charlie died in San Quentin today. He was unable to tell me how the murderer died so at this time I have no further information.

The boys disappeared while on a bicycle ride near their South Bay homes. A jogger found their semi-nude bodies two days later.

Erskine lured the victims into an igloo-shaped โ€œfortโ€ of brush, tied them up and molested them before strangling them, authorities said.

Jurors convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder and special circumstance allegations of torture, child molestation and multiple murders.

Erskine’s death sentence spent years in appeal In 2019, the California Supreme Court upheld the sentence.

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