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The container was emptied, the cash register broken and Gnerlich beaten and hit on the head with a piece of crockery. A customer found her dead on the floor of her Pearblossom Highway shop, where she also lived. In October of that year, Trice was bound and beaten in his home by Scott and an accomplice and left to die of asphyxiation and a neck injury. Trice’s body was found in his home on East Avenue R-10 by his daughter, who came to pick him up for an appointment. Trice’s killers stole his car and took other items from his house. Ronnie Johnson, 32, was tried separately in Trice’s murder and he, too, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Scott had been released from prison two months before Gnerlich’s slaying, and Johnson had been out of prison 21/2 years before Trice’s death. Scott had served time in the California Youth Authority as a juvenile, and in 2000 was sent to state prison for an attempted robbery in Long Beach, state records show. He was paroled in May 2003. Johnson was convicted in 1995 of attempted robbery in an Antelope Valley case. In 1999, he was convicted of forging a driver’s license for identification and was released on parole in March 2001. [email protected] (661) 476-4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “They talked of how he robbed them of their loved ones and they hope he spends the rest of his life thinking about what he did,” Deputy District Attorney Robert Sherwood said. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bob Bowers sentenced Scott, 28, to the life sentence in the 2003 cases. The jury that convicted Scott in July of two counts of first-degree murder also spared him the death penalty. Before his sentence was handed down, Scott apologized to the families, saying he regretted what he did and hoped that someday they would forgive him, Sherwood said. A key piece of evidence against Scott was his fingerprint found in July 2003 on a jar Gnerlich used in her Victoria’s Antique Garden shop to collect donations for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. One of his victims, a woman with multiple sclerosis, left a trail of blood as she crawled to the door of her Littlerock antiques shop in a futile attempt to reach help. In the same remote desert town three months later, an elderly man was found by his daughter, bound, beaten and left to die alone in his home. On Wednesday, four years later, career criminal Ernest Scott was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of Victoria Gnerlich, 46, and Charles Trice, 76. Families of both victims testified in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, speaking of their anguish and urging that Scott be sentenced to life in prison.