published Friday, November 18th, 2011

Defendant made threats, police say

  • photo
    Nathan B. Lalone, a 20-year-old Ooltewah man, has been charged in the shooting death Wednesday night of a 19-year-old man.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A man accused of fatally shooting a second man Wednesday night also threatened to kill someone else earlier this year, according to court records.

Nathan B. Lalone, 20, pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from a January incident in which he punched a window at a residence on Apison Pike and threatened to come back to kill a woman. He received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days and was placed on probation.

Ten months later, Lalone, who lives in Ooltewah, faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Police say he lured 19-year-old Christian Sosa to a parking lot near a lit tennis court in the 4500 block of Bill Jones Road and opened fire.

“I heard what sounded like fireworks,” said Cathy Zuehlke, who lives across the street from the park, recalling as many as seven gunshots. “It wasn’t but a second after that I heard a car that went up the road, going fast.”

As of Thursday night, no bond had been set for Lalone, who was in Hamilton County Jail.

Sosa and his girlfriend, Meghan Bennett, 20, went to the tennis courts about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, thinking they were going to meet others to do drugs, according to an arrest report from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

As soon as Bennett began to park, the car came under fire from the passenger side of the vehicle, the report said.

Sosa died from the gunshot wounds to his torso, and Bennett was shot in her arm and chest. She was able to drive just under three miles to a residence at 3531 Camp Road where her father lives.

When deputies arrived, Sosa already had died in the front seat of the vehicle, the report said, while Bennett was taken to a local hospital where she was treated.

Lalone had a conflict with Sosa over money and a stolen gun, according to the arrest report. He told another man to set up the meeting, the report said.

Lalone met with the other man at a Walmart parking lot after the shooting and said he shot Sosa to death, the report said.

Blakelen S. Adams, 19, and Tyler Allen Conrad, 19, were arrested in the case Thursday night and charged with two counts each of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the shootings.

Sosa and Bennett were arrested together last month after Bennett crashed a Buick Skylark into a small tree on Shallowford Road. They began walking along the road and were stopped by authorities.

Sosa was picked up on drug possession charges and both were charged with theft after they were found with stolen property.

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