published Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Cellphone video captures slaying in Chattanooga

  • photo
    Lathe Corbin looks around during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Hamilton County General Session Judge Clarence Shattuck's courtroom. Corbin is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 12 shooting death of Aundre Bush on Southern Street.
    Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The footage is shaky, but the cellphone video used to record a fight that broke out on Southern Street caught the moment distinctly: A man fires a gun at a 19-year-old, who crumples to the ground.

The case of a man accused of killing Aundre Bush during a brawl among a group of teenage girls on Sept. 12 has been bound over to the Hamilton County grand jury after the judge watched the cellphone video of Bush's slaying.

General Sessions Judge Clarence Shattuck upped Lathe Corbin's charges from criminal homicide to first-degree murder after reviewing the footage.

Corbin, 30, remains in custody at the Hamilton County Jail on a $1 million bond.

As he pulled out an easel and an iPad to show the video in Shattuck's courtroom Tuesday, Hamilton County District Attorney General Bill Cox told the court that they had the rare opportunity to "see someone kill somebody in cold blood."

The grainy video shows a large group of teenage girls and women shouting at one another while waving sticks and bats in the street at the Harriet Tubman public housing development.

As the fighting escalates, several men become involved, including Bush and Corbin.

Suddenly, a man identified as Corbin pulls a handgun and fires it at least twice at Bush, who is about 25 feet away and retreating. Bush falls to the pavement as the shooter runs from the scene.

Several women start screaming and gather around Bush before the camera cuts off.

"It looked like mass commotion," testified Chattanooga Police Detective Karl Fields, who arrived on shortly after the shooting.

Bush died from gunshot wounds to the back of his head and his chest, according to Chattanooga police.

Fields said Corbin turned himself in the next day, and Bush's mother, Robin Harris, identified him as the man who shot her son.

Harris, who was involved in the fight, was called as a witness Tuesday. She testified that the fight began as she was trying to track down who had taken her daughter's cellphone.

During questioning, defense attorney Martin Levitt requested that she review the video footage leading up to her son's slaying and to identify herself and other individuals in the fracas.

As the video played, she closed her eyes and covered her ears, tears streaming down her face.

"I don't know who they all are. I don't know," she repeated.

Levitt maintained that Corbin drew the gun in self-defense after Bush fired a gun in his direction.

"You have [footage of] my client shooting, but that's all we have here," said Levitt. "This is not the whole picture."

Witness Rachel Lee testified she was ushering her son and daughter to her car when she heard at least six gunshots and saw Bush fire his gun in the direction of Lathe, who was standing behind her.

Both she and her boyfriend, Jeffrey Douglas, testified they saw a girl in a Chevrolet Impala pick up the handgun Bush had been holding after he fell.

Harris said she never saw her son with a gun.

Several court benches were filled with Corbin's relatives and friends, who declined to comment after the proceedings.

At the end of the hearing, Shattuck lamented what he called an increasing trend of teenage girls starting violent fights.

"It's really disturbing that we have another shooting that started with a girl fight," he said. "Somebody needs to talk to their daughters. ... It's a pitiful situation."

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inquiringmind said...

There is really little place for bigotry here, Veritas.

The problem lies far deeper and closer to home. You bear as much responsibility for that person's death as anyone.

I presume you have a job. When was the last time you went down to that neighborhood and volunteered to work with the youth and provide an example of positive thinking and living for them to emulate rather than sit on your butt, sip beer, and cheer the Vols?

The underlying reason for the growing class separation of economic status among the African-American people (and poor white Tennesseans) is the original, still existing racism that pushed them into marginal jobs and then the ghetto in Northern cities where there are limited jobs except for service jobs.

Try living in a circumstance where you have no father, have a mother that can't get a job with decent enough income to provide for you and your siblings, where you yourself have little hope of a decent job and are surrounded by folk who have given up hope and only challenge you when you try to be different . It is no longer a legitimate claim to say if they don't want to live there they can move and make something of themselves. It takes a job, money and someone willing to rent to you. Veritas, do you have an extra room?

If you are male, you can expect almost certainly to be arrested at least once, guilty or not. You will be treated with suspicion simply because of the color of your skin and where you live, by pedestrians and by police. Even a good white person given a chance will take a seat away from you rather than beside you.

If day after day folks call you a "welfare parasite" and pour contempt on you, how long do you think your rosey attitude will last, Veritas? If you want to know why there are "welfare parasites" Veritas, look in the mirror, look closely and honestly, not at who you think you are, but at who you are.

Peace.

September 21, 2011 at 7:19 a.m.
harrystatel said...

I'm surprised Blind Billy Cox got his sight back. It's good to know that when there's a "can't lose" murder case with video, Blind Billy steps into the spotlight and headlines.

But with local government corruption and smokin' guns, Blind Billy goes as sightless as a cave cricket.

The next time you hear "Justice is Blind" tell 'em that the amazing Hamilton County DA has "Select-o-Vision". Blind Billy can see headlines, but can't see corruption.

September 21, 2011 at 10:43 a.m.

You people are sick. Why aren't you trolling the articles about that white woman who just smothered her newborns? Or the white guy who just dragged an 80 year-old woman trying to steal her purse??? Crime happens everywhere, and criminals are of every race. There is a special place in Hell for bigots and hypocrites....

September 21, 2011 at 12:14 p.m.
mglove28 said...

I agree with cashing reality checks it could b racial but its not and like he or she said things happen every where no matter if there rich poor or black or white who are we to judge clean out your own closets before you start opening someone elses up also if you guys was reading ones comment she didnt say he committed this crime because he didnt have a father or not having enough money to survive got him where @ she was responding to the sick person commenta bout welfare and ppl in the projects low life

September 21, 2011 at 12:24 p.m.
mglove28 said...

oh yeah to the manager who wouldnt hire a black man because of his address u will b judge one day as well i didnt realize all this hatred was so out in the open like this u guys should b ashamed of yourselves what happens when this happens to one of your children or family member just sad

September 21, 2011 at 12:37 p.m.
candicane23 said...

You can get paid to go to college. The bus runs in their neighboorhoods. Instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself. Get up, get out and do something about it. I dont feel sorry for people that live in the housing projects. I can understand if a woman has a baby and needs a cheap place to live for a few years, but dont make it your permanent home. That's just crazy. And if men would stop doing stupid things to get locked up it would be easier to get a job. Your only making it hard on yourselves.

September 21, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.

I believe the reference to Veritas must be for a comment that has been removed. With that said i think this is another of many sad stories that line the media now a days. Does racism still exist? Absolutely! Its more common than ever now. Another point would be it's not just Black its every race. Does geographical location matter? Obviously, look at the record of occurences within certain areas within chattanooga.

In the end it all comes down to one poor fact. For whatever reason a group of people decided to gather in numbers with the intent to impose their will on others. All the points made earlier are most likely very good points if not facts. The worst part of the story for me is someone was killed. The person that performed the killing might as well be dead because his life is forfeit. All this came about over a damn Cell phone!

September 21, 2011 at 3:48 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

whatthaphuck, candicane23;

Who is blaming something on someone's "daddy?" Read my comment again. I'm blaming you both for not being active and trying to do something constructive, hands on, in that community, or are you afraid to go down there because of skin color ?

Candicane23 do you have children? Do you have a good job that pays enough for child care? If you stay at home, why not go down and volunteer to keep a single mother's children in your home during the work day so the mother ca earn enough to get a better place in life? Treat her like you'd desire to be treated were you in her place. Try it once.

September 21, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.

inquiringmind & tnvolssuckbad?

Will the two of you be meeting in a residential area with sticks and bats and such soon?

September 21, 2011 at 4:36 p.m.
skyboxer said...

Speaking as a sociologist, I really think all of you are overreacting to what was likely a situation that just got out of hand. You have to understand that in inner city black culture it considered to be perfectly o.k. to "communicate" using gunfire. In this case, the alleged shooter was simply trying to convey that certain community standards and expectations at this particular gathering were unacceptable. Don't be condemning this young man because he is darkly complected with his hair in long decorative braids. And try to understand a little the social pressures on him in that parking lot on that day. And as well that he may not have understood that the gun he allegedly shot would go off multiple times. Guns can seem to have a mind of their own at times. Further, if he did shoot the gun it might have just been a case of him being poor shot. Don't judge someone like this until you have walked a mile in their housing project tennis shoes. You might only make it a few blocks depending on the time of day.

September 21, 2011 at 5:26 p.m.
LibDem said...

(skyboxer, I assume you're being sarcastic, right?)

Regardless of your culture, you know firing a gun into a crowd is not OK. You can grow up in a desperate neighborhood with incompetent or uncaring parents, but you kind of know this isn't right.

September 21, 2011 at 6:39 p.m.
skyboxer said...

No. I am NOT being "sarcastic." None of you know the facts or circumstances. All we know is a gun went off and it may have been in this young man's hand. And he may have been trying to defend himself. Everybody CHECK YOURSELF.

September 21, 2011 at 7:14 p.m.
jonpcrowe said...

lets not blame the media for being racist lets blame the ignorant man who pulled the trigger to make the news in the first place, i am so sick of the race card being pulled all the time, look at all the white criminals in the media today, maybe i should pull a race card for that.

September 21, 2011 at 8:59 p.m.
Mslocolove said...

@Skyboxer... That was a dumb ass comment you made about the black culture and how blacks communicate with gunfire... First of all it doesn't matter what race you are using a gun is not an okay way to communicate. And for you to say what you said was down right ignorant. I am black and have never been raised in a community like that. I have been in that community and know plenty of people that probably have more sense and intelligence than you do. What you basically did was sterotyped and judge black people based on the media and what you may have heard..**

September 21, 2011 at 10:10 p.m.
Veritas said...

My original statement, which appears to have been removed, was as follows: "a large group of teenage girls and women shouting at one another while waving sticks and bats in the street at the Harriet Tubman public housing development.", typical behavior of welfare parasites.

September 22, 2011 at 1:18 a.m.
neiceann said...

to candicane 23. You really need to step back and take a look at reality. There are no jobs out there. If you happen to get one, it's not enough to pay for the high priced apartments and homes that are out there. I worked at a job making more than minimum wage and I was LUCKY to have found a good place in a good neighborhood for cheap. Unfortunately everyone isn't so lucky. I know people who work very hard every day but still can't afford to live above the proverty level. As far as going to college and getting free money to go to college, yea right that money only go to certain people. If you get that money you still have to pay bills and maintain. I just moved back to chattanooga, and if it wasn't for the fact that my aunt and i decided to roommate together, i probably would have been a working person in the projects as well. While looking around for a decent apartment or house in a good neighborhood, was very difficult. There was nothing in my price wage. As much as i was making it still wasn't enough. But I prayed about it and was able to find something. Reality is the economy is messed up. I grew up in the projects as well, and fortunately for us, they weren't as bad as they are now. Instead of us condeming why someone is living in the projects, why don't we try to understand why they have to live there. every one can say, go to school, get a job, where are the jobs and where are the people to help them with some type of training to get this jobs. Cause you do have to have training or some experience. take a good look at yourself before condeming someone else. No one is perfect. Can we change? sure I believe things can change, but not with people like you who wants to blame them and believe that there are jobs out. It took me 3 years to find a job when I first move to Ga. in 2000. so come back to reality

October 2, 2011 at 5:10 p.m.
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