DAY 4: DNA found on weapon focus of morning testimony in Lookout - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

DAY 4: DNA found on weapon focus of morning testimony in Lookout Valley triple murder trial

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Derek Morse in court Thursday. WRCBtv.com photo Derek Morse in court Thursday. WRCBtv.com photo
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: We are learning one of the Lookout Valley triple murder suspects may have confessed the entire crime to a cellmate. 

Derek Morse is charged with killing three men and hurting another in 2014. 

READ MORE | DAY 3: Defense pokes holes in testimony in Lookout Valley triple murder trial

The state called four witnesses to the stand Friday, Michael Shavers was one of them. 

Shavers took a deep breath before describing a confession he says Morse made while the pair shared a cell together in jail. 

Shavers is charged with attempted murder in an unrelated case. 

“Mr. Lang is sitting in the chair and he never gets up and he threw his hands up and said he has nothing to do with this and he shot him execution style in the head,” Shavers testified. 

Shavers admitted on the stand to being with Morse before and after the triple murder and even hiding the guns in Georgia for Morse but testified he was not there during the shooting. 

“What did he tell you?” Prosecutor Lance Pope asked. 

“He just said that he let his emotions get to him,” Shavers said. 

“He said what?” Pope asked. 

“He let his emotions get to him,” Shavers replied.

The defense attacked Shavers credibility, bringing up his current charges and changing stories to investigators. 

We also learned about the ballistics, DNA and gun shot residue testing performed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 

One expert witness testified they did not find any DNA belonging to Morse or the other two suspects on the three guns collected but another testified gun shot residue was found on Morse’s shirt and shorts he was seen wearing the day of the shooting. 

“That person either came in contact with a recently fired firearm or recently fired ammunition components or that individual was wearing those clothes when they fired the weapon,” TBI Special Agent Rielly Lewis Gray said. 

Court will resume on Monday. 

Stay with Channel 3 for updates. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Day four of the Derek Morse trial is underway.

Morse is charged in the Lookout Valley triple murder case from April 2014. He is one of the three suspects accused of the murders of Caleb Boozer, John Lang and Jon Morris.

READ MORE | DAY 3: Defense pokes holes in testimony in Lookout Valley triple murder trial

Morning testimony centered around a witness from TBI’s Forensic Biology Unit.

Christina Wells’ expert testimony revealed DNA did not connect Morse or the other suspects charged in the case to three weapons collected in the case.

DNA from an unidentified male was found on a pistol, but it’s unclear who that person is. The witness confirmed the DNA did not match any of the suspects or victims in the case.

The witness did testify that DNA can be washed off if an item is left in the elements. Wells testified the pistol was “muddy and dirty” when she tested it for DNA.

Wells also explained results from other evidence she received in the case.

The defense pointed to the time from the murders in April 2014 and the time the evidence was sent to the TBI crime lab in February 2016 and June 2017.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story.

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