Attorneys Tuesday picked a trial date for two men facing murder charges in a 2014 Lookout Valley triple homicide case.
Skyler Hudson Allen, 24, and Derek Morse, 21, will appear before Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman on Sept. 13 for three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. A third co-defendant in the case, Jacob Allison, 17, faces the same charges but is not scheduled to go to trial, court records show.
Prosecutors say Allison drove Allen and Morse to an RV lot at 4504 Kellys Ferry Road, located off Cummings Highway, on April 9, 2014. There, court records indicate, Allen and Morse opened fire and killed Caleb Boozer, Jon Morris and John Lang.
Police say Allen and Morse also shot Michael Callan, who escaped. Callan later testified that, as he lay in the woods that night, hoping the departing shooters wouldn't notice him breathing, he heard one of the attackers tell the other, "Make sure they're all dead."
Prosecutors said the killings may have been inspired by a $20 debt.
In August 2014, Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw said Allison — 15 at the time of shooting — knew Morse and Allen were carrying guns that night. Philyaw bound Allison's case over to a grand jury, which returned an indictment on all charges. Because Allison was indicted separately from Morse and Allen, his case has moved through court on a separate docket.
Allison is next scheduled to appear before Judge Steelman on April 14. His attorney, Lee Davis, said he is continuing to review the evidence and negotiate with the district attorney's office.
Attorney Dan Ripper, who is representing Morse, said the next court appearance will be a status conference for discovery on April 12. Then, attorneys will set a checkup date to iron out any issues before the trial starts in September.
Morse is pleading not guilty, said Ripper, who had no further comment.
Allen's attorney, Ben McGowan, was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
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