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."


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

Chance Loftis Set To Be Freed From Jail After Jury Finds Him Guilty Of Only Misdemeanor Charge

Chance Loftis is set to be freed from jail on Monday after a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon found him guilty of only a minor charge. Instead of murder in the death of 46-year-old Donald Rogers, the jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole found him guilty of the lesser charge of reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty in the beating ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wins Third Straight AAA State Duals Title Over Wilson Central

FRANKLIN – Jake Yost is batting a thousand in State Duals championship matches. Just call it a three-peat for the Cleveland Blue Raiders after Saturday night’s 35-26 win over Wilson Central here at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center. It was also the third straight time that the Wildcats had finished as the runner-up to Cleveland, but Saturday night’s battle was ... (click for more)

Baylor Edges Father Ryan for State Duals Wrestling Title

FRANKLIN – In an epic TSSAA D-II state duals finals which came down to the final two matches, defending champion Baylor relied on its Murderers’ Row, composed of three state champions, earlier in the match to edge Father Ryan, 32-30 for the state championship here Saturday night at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. Trailing, 15-7 after six matches, Baylor then gained a ... (click for more)