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."



East Ridge High School Student Investigated For Questionable Instagram Post

East Ridge Police were contacted by multiple students and parents of East Ridge High School on Saturday, about a fellow student’s Instagram post they perceived as threatening in nature.  Contact was made with the student at his residence.  The student advised his post was in no way meant to be threatening, and was meant to show support for the Second Amendment ... (click for more)

Police Searching For Missing Girl, 11

The Chattanooga Police Department's Missing Persons Unit is asking for the public's assistance in locating 11-year-old Akira Sariah Green. Akira was last seen in East Chattanooga at 6 a.m. on Friday. She was last seen wearing khaki pants, black shirt and black jacket. Akira is a black female with black hair and brown eyes, 5'04" tall, and weighs 145 pounds.  ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings - And Response

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s Time To ‘Prepare’

On Friday morning, this after a crazed human being killed 17 innocent children and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, I sat in a room with Sheriff Jim Hammond and members of his command staff and asked what everyone us want to know: “What do we do?” Gino Bennett, the sage guiding force, sat beside me and he told the room, “The time to ‘prevent’ is over ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wins AAA State Mat Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Chattanooga-area wrestling teams didn’t dominate the TSSAA traditional state tournament this weekend like they have in the past, but they were better than average and still had a lot to celebrate. All three teams that won titles in the State Duals here at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park came back to win again this time, including Cleveland ... (click for more)

District 5-3A: Blue Raiders, Mustangs Advance To Boys' Final

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – For the most part, seedings for postseason high school basketball tournaments hold up well. There are upsets, at times. Some mild. Some more stunning. On “Semifinal Saturday” in District 5-3A at Walker Valley High School, three favorites won, including both higher seeded girls’ teams. Second-ranked Bradley Central, unbeaten at 27-0 and the No. ... (click for more)