FIRST ON 3: Investigators believe violence preceded Lookout Vall - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: Investigators believe violence preceded Lookout Valley triple murder

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Derek Morse and Skyler Allen enter the courtroom in cuffs and shackles Wednesday. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com Derek Morse and Skyler Allen enter the courtroom in cuffs and shackles Wednesday. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: The lone survivor in April's triple homicide in Lookout Valley testified Wednesday against the case's two main adult suspects.

The 16-year-old juvenile victim survived being shot five times and still has a bullet in his neck. He testified at Wednesday's preliminary hearing that he saw Derek Morse and Skyler Allen at the crime scene.

After listening to testimony and cross-examination from four witnesses, including a detective with the sheriff's department, Judge Sells decided to bound the case over the grand jury.

Deputies also arrested a third suspect in the shootings, a juvenile, and charged him with three counts of criminal homicide but prosecutors have not yet announced whether he'll be tried as an adult.


PREVIOUS STORY: Investigators believe a dispute over $20 led up to a barrage of gunfire that left three men dead and one teen wounded last month.

But before any blood was shed, police had early indications someone might die or be seriously injured.

Just days before the fatal shooting on April 9, there was a confrontation in an old Food Lion parking lot. Derek Morse, who faces charges of homicide, had a disagreement with at least one of the occupants in the car, sources said.

READ MORE | New details in Lookout Valley triple homicide

Shots were fired. No one was injured this time.

Jon Morris, who would be shot to death days later, was confronted by Morse and others, sources at the Chattanooga Police Department and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office confirm.

Detectives found shell casings from the incident where Morse had fired shots at Morris during a car chase. Morris wrecked his car on Ogrady Drive.  The car had to be towed to Lucky’s Towing and Recovery on Market Street. Morris was treated at Erlanger. 

Then on April 9, investigators say Morse found Morris again. This time, Morris was with Caleb Boozer and John Lang and a 16-year-old boy. Morris, Lang and Boozer were shot to death while sitting outside of an RV near Kellys Ferry Road.

READ MORE | Fourth arrest made in Lookout Valley triple murder

The gunmen meant to kill everyone. “Make sure they’re all dead,” one of them said, according to the affidavit.

But they left the 16-year-old teen alive. He recovered from gunshot wounds he suffered. He also knew who fired the shots.

Now three people face charges for the shootings: 22-year-old Skyler Allen, a 15-year-old suspect and Morse.

Court records show Morse fired shots in January at another car with people in it during another dispute. The case was dropped when witnesses failed to show up for court, according to prosecutors.

In the coming weeks leading up to the killings, Morse legally purchased several guns. Some of the guns used in the murders, and possibly in the April 4 shooting, were purchased from a north Georgia gun collector.

On April 8, a day before the murders, a .22 rifle was purchased. Investigators believe that was the same rifle that Morse was seen loading in the back seat just moments before the shooting.

READ MORE | Bail denied for 15-year-old accused in Lookout Valley triple murder

After the killings, Morse took refuge with his 17-year-old girlfriend. She is pregnant with his child. Investigators charged her with accessory after the fact. It’s unclear if she will be charged as an adult.

Prosecutors are asking the county’s juvenile court to transfer the 15-year-old’s case so he can be charged as an adult.

Allen and Morse are set to go to court today before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Christine Sell.
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