Lone survivor in 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide testifies

Lone survivor in 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide testifies

September 20th, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

Defendant Derek Morse looks back as Judge Steelman introduces his bailiff to prospective jurors for the 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide trial Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

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Already shot in the back, neck, arm and shoulder, Matthew Callan tried to get off the ground and was quickly shot in the leg.

Callan knew his parent's place was close to the RV lot on Kellys Ferry Road where he, Caleb Boozer, Jon Morris and John Lang had been hanging out on April 9, 2014.

But he wasn't sure he could outrun the shooters.

It was about 7 p.m. when the black car pulled into the lot. Callan said Derek Morse and Skyler Allen got out, armed with a rifle and a pistol. Then, after an uncomfortable silence, Morse opened fire.

Only Callan survived.

Then a high-schooler, now a state witness, Callan testified today in Morse's first-degree murder trial in Hamilton County Criminal Court, describing the systematic killing that took place.

As the men scrambled, Morse fired his rifle until he ran out of bullets, Callan said.

Skyler took over after that, he said.

"Skyler shot Caleb [Boozer] five times in the chest," Callan said. "Caleb begged for his life three times. Then they shot him in the head."

Though Callan didn't know it yet, the shooters had also murdered Lang in his chair and Morris while he was trying to hide under the RV.

Callan said he closed his eyes, playing dead, and made it back to his parent's home.

But Morse's defense attorney Dan Ripper, said that's where the state's case encountered problems.

At the home, Morris' relative, Molly Morris, said she thought Morse and another man were involved in the shooting, Ripper said.

She passed this information onto law enforcement, Callan's father, and Callan as he laid there on his front porch, waiting for an ambulance, which influenced Callan when he later identified Morse in a police lineup, Ripper said.

The defense attorney said there more problems.

One, Callan knew of Morse, but didn't say he knew who shot him during a 911 call. Then he gaffed and told police at the hospital that, "police said it was Derek," Ripper said.

Finally, in another interview, investigators asked Callan who shot him.

"Your response was, 'That's the one that they said was Derek. I don't know if it was Derek, I wasn't really paying much attention," Ripper said.

Callan admitted that he could have spoken more carefully, but explained that he'd been through surgery, was on pain medication, and was frustrated in general with the homicide.

Before Ripper could continue his cross examination, Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman called for lunch break.

Jurors are returning at 2 p.m. to hear more of the state's proof. This is the second day of trial.

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