Defense attorney hopes to resolve Lookout Valley triple homicide case next year

Defense attorney hopes to resolve Lookout Valley triple homicide case next year

Alleged getaway driver scheduled to appear in court in April

October 4th, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

Defense attorney Martin Levitt, right, talks with defendant Jacob Allison, center, during a hearing Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in juvenile court in Chattanooga.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

A defense attorney for the alleged getaway driver in the 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide said he hopes to resolve his client's murder charges the next time they go to court.

Jacob Allison will appear April 17 in Hamilton County Criminal Court on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. That's a week after another man charged in the homicide, Skyler Allen, is scheduled to stand trial.

"There are no outstanding discovery matters, no motions. The case is fully prepared to hopefully be resolved on that date," defense attorney Lee Davis said Wednesday. Afterward, Davis declined to comment on whether his client would testify against Allen.

Prosecutors say that on April 9, 2014, Allison, then 15, drove Derek Morse and Allen to a trailer on Kellys Ferry Road. There, the older men opened fire on Caleb Boozer, Matthew Callan, John Lang and Jon Morris as they sat outside and drank. Everyone except Callan, then 16, died.

So far, prosecutors have secured a conviction against Morse, who was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole after an eight-day trial. This week, they set Allen for trial on April 10.

Though Allison was a minor in 2014, a judge decided he would be tried as an adult a few months after the homicide. Prosecutors indicted him separately from Allen and Morse, as Davis pointed out in court, and have never accused him of firing a weapon that night. But Allison, now 19, did help hide the alleged murder weapons afterward, according to his half-brother's testimony at Morse's trial.

In criminal cases with multiple people, even if they're all charged with the same offense, each defendant usually has a different level of responsibility. So it's up to prosecutors to evaluate the evidence and determine where it may prove the guilt of the person most responsible.

In this case, that person was Morse, some attorneys said.

A violent incident five days before the homicide motivated Morse to kill, prosecutors said. Meanwhile, Allen's defense attorney, Ben McGowan, has said the state had stronger proof against Morse and weaker, more circumstantial evidence against his client.

Davis said he and Allison are in wait-and-see mode.

"We're holding this one in line following the other trial," Davis said in court.

Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at zpeterson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @zackpeterson918.


This story was updated Oct. 4 at 11:59 p.m. with more information.


Loading...