Accused Lookout Valley killer has court date set - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Accused Lookout Valley killer has court date set

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The man accused of murdering three men and seriously injuring a teenager in Lookout Valley will soon have his day in court.

Derek Morse, 19, was arrested and charged Thursday morning with 3 counts of Criminal Homicide and one count of Attempted Criminal Homicide. His preliminary date in Hamilton County Court is set for May 8.

Channel 3 spoke with Morse's self-described mentor Friday off-camera. Jim Long is the facilities manager at the John A. Patten Recreation Center in Lookout Valley. He's spent 30 years mentoring local youth at the local hangout, including Derek Morse.

READ MORE | Suspect in triple murder arrested, victims named

The American flag outside the rec center was lowered to half staff Friday in honor of the shooting victims.

Long said he first met Morse seven years ago when the now accused murderer was just 12 years old. He said like most kids, he stopped coming when he started driving. But he said he was "shocked" to hear Morse implicated in the violent crime, despite his lengthy history with the law. According to Hamilton County General Sessions Court, he's been brought in on charges since 2012 of assault, domestic assault, firearms violations, various drug charges, theft, fraud, forgery and identity theft.

Long said the tragedy affects not just the families and friends of the victims but the entire Lookout Valley and Chattanooga communities. He said the rec center is always open for those who need a place for comfort and who want to talk about the events.


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