DAY 3: Defense pokes holes in testimony in third day of Lookout - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

DAY 3: Defense pokes holes in testimony in third day of Lookout Valley triple murder trial

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Jurors heard from nine witnesses Thursday in the third day of the Derek Morse trial. 

Morse is one of three people charged in the Lookout Valley triple homicide. He is the first suspect to go on trial in the case. 

Prosecutors used surveillance pictures and their time stamps to try and lay out a timeline of where Morse was on April 9, 2014 before and after the triple homicide. 

The pictures showed Morse at Walmart in Lookout Valley, a gas station in Trenton, Georgia, Subway in Lookout Valley and a nearby hotel. 

The most important testimony came from Brandon Jackson, the son in law of Jon Morris, who is one of the people killed in the shooting. 

Jackson told the jury about an altercation he had with Morse in the parking lot of Food Lion in Lookout Valley five days before the triple homicide. 

Jackson testified Morris set up the meeting with Morse as a drug deal but he, Jackson and another man planned to beat Morse up instead over $20 Jackson said Morse stole from them days earlier. 

“He pulls up and starts shooting. He opened the door and starts shooting,” Jackson testified. 

“How many times?” a prosecutor asked. 

“I don’t know it was so much,” Jackson said. 

Jackson’s testimony way be the state’s framework of proving premeditation to show Morse had a motive for the murders. 

But the defense tried to poke holes in Jackson’s testimony, pointing out Jackson’s story changed from the day of the triple murders from his previous statements. 

In statements to police and in a pretrial hearing, Jackson said he saw two of the suspects get out of the vehicle and start shooting while he was hiding on a trial near the scene. But on the stand Thursday, Jackson said he didn’t see anyone get out of the car.  

“Is that what you saw?” a prosecutor asked. 

“No,” Jackson said. 

Witnesses testified word of the shooting spread quick the night of April 9, 2014 throughout the Lookout Valley community as well as who could be responsible, creating another obstacle for attorneys who don’t want hearsay tainting testimony. 

“You’ve heard [Derek Morse’s name] since [the time of the shooting?]” a defense attorney asked. 

“I’ve heard it a bunch of times.” Witness Dennis McNabb said. 

“That Derek Morse is involved in this shooting and shot Jon Morris and them, right?” defense attorney said. 

“You got that right,” McNabb replied. 

The state may wrap up Friday, then it will be the defense’s turn to present their case. 

We will let you know what happens. 

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