UPDATE: Jury selected for first man to be tried in 2014 triple homicide

UPDATE: Jury selected for first man to be tried in 2014 triple homicide

September 19th, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 5/28/14. Derek Morse, 19, middle and Skylar Allen, 22, right, sit in Judge Christie Mahn Sell's courtroom while having their case bound over to the grand jury both being charged in the April 9 triple murder in Lookout Valley.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

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UPDATE: Attorneys have selected a jury in the trial of Derek Morse, one of three accused of murder in the 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide. 

Opening statements are next — following some quick debate. 

A defense attorney objected to a few photographs that prosecutors plan to show jurors during their opening statements of proof. 

Defense attorney Dan Ripper said he didn't want jurors to see a picture of Michael Callan, the only survivor of the April 2014 attack that left Caleb Boozer, John Lang and Jon Morris dead in an RV lot off Kellys Ferry Road. 

"There's no explanation, there's a certain amount of gore in it," Ripper said. "The risk of prejudice from this picture is much greater than benefit that can be received." 

Ripper also objected to a 2013 booking photo of his client, saying jurors would have the wrong impression of what an eyewitness thought they saw that night since Morse no longer looks that way. 

Prosecutor Cameron Williams said he has explanations for each picture. On the Callan photo, Williams said, he plans to tell jurors that Callan was injured in the attack.

That evidence goes to the heart of an attempted first-degree murder charge that Morse faces, in addition to three counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say Morse, Skyler Allen and a getaway driver, Jacob Allison, were involved in the deadly shooting. 

Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ruled against both photos coming into the prosecutor's opening statements. He said, however, that each photo can be introduced into evidence during the trial. 

Prosecutors are rearranging their opening statement now and jurors will return soon. 


ORIGINAL STORY: Attorneys are picking a jury today for the first man to be tried in connection with the 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide.

Derek Morse faces three counts of first-degree murder, along with defendants Skyler Allen and Jacob Allison, for the slaying of Caleb Boozer, John Morris and John Lang in an RV lot on Kellys Ferry Road.

He's been seated next to his defense attorney, Dan Ripper, while they whittle down a jury pool this morning in Hamilton County Criminal Court. Once a jury is picked, attorneys will deliver opening statements.

Allen is next scheduled to appear Oct. 2. Allison is scheduled for Monday. Prosecutors announced last week they added Allison to their witness list for Morse's trial, meaning he could be called to the stand.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for more information.

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