Detective Says Woman Bought Crack From "Dope Man" Before And After Killing Longtime Companion

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Defense attorney David Barrow and Laura Lee Morgan
Defense attorney David Barrow and Laura Lee Morgan

Detective Lucas Fuller testified Tuesday that Laura Lee Morgan told him she bought crack cocaine from "the dope man" before and after killing her 73-year-old longtime companion with a crowbar.

General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell bound charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery against the 48-year-old Ms. Morgan to the Grand Jury.

The detective said he was summoned on Jan. 26 to the house at 3401 S. Orchard Knob Ave., where Ms. Morgan lived with the victim, James Masingill.

He said they had been together for 15 years.

He said the victim was sprawled in a glider rocker with blood covering him, the walls, ceiling and floor. He said his face was mangled from an approximate 17 blows.

Detective Fuller said Ms. Morgan, who is a double amputee with no legs, was waiting on police on the front porch.

She later gave a statement in which she said Mr. Masingill was addicted to the scratch-off lottery. She said that day he left to buy some tickets, which she said upset her. She said while he was gone she called "the dope man" and he brought her $80 worth of crack cocaine, which she smoked. She said Mr. Masingill returned from getting the lottery tickets to say he had won $40. He gave her $20 of his winnings.

She said she told him about buying the crack and he became angry, then she said he came after her with a crowbar. She said she snatched it away from him and began hitting him in the head repeatedly.

The detective said he saw no injuries on Ms. Morgan and found no signs of a struggle. He did find the blood-covered crowbar.

Ms. Morgan said as her companion lay dead in one corner of the room she dialed up "the dope man" again and he brought her $200 more of crack. She said she smoked it before summoning police.

Detective Fuller said Ms. Morgan refused to identify "the dope man."


Man Shot On S. Kelly Street Tuesday Evening

A man was shot on S. Kelly Street Tuesday evening. At approximately  7:37  p.m., Chattanooga Police Officers responded to the area of 400 S. Kelly to investigate shots fired.  Officers searched the area but were unable to locate a victim of a shooting. Sho rtly after the initial call, police were advised of a gunshot victim that arrived at a local hospital ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Pay Over $4 Million For Math Textbooks

The County School Board on Tuesday night voted to pay over $4 million for a new edition of math textbooks for K-12. Several board members who supported the move said they had spoken to principals and math teachers, and they were in favor of the new textbooks from Curriculum Associates. Greg Martin was opposed, saying the board should have used all fund balance instead of sources ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)

Tull Named SoCon Athlete Of The Year

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull has been named the 2015 Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced today (May 26). Tull will be honored as part of the league’s annual Honors Dinner on Wednesday night in Hilton Head Island, S.C.   Tull becomes the first Moc to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award. As a senior, he ... (click for more)

Soccer Abounds For Chattanooga FC

The Chattanooga FC soccer team continues it's busy schedule this week with games on Wednesday and Friday in two separate national tournaments.    Chattanooga hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday in the third round of the US Open Cup. The Silverbacks are a professional team that plays in the NASL.   The Silverbacks ended Chattanooga's run in the last year's ... (click for more)