Woman Says She Killed Man With Crowbar, Though He Begged Her To Stop

Sunday, January 27, 2013
Laura Morgan
Laura Morgan

A woman who is a double amputee with no legs told police she kept hitting a 73-year-old man with a crowbar until he died, though he pleaded with her to stop.

Laura Lee Morgan, 48, is charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery.

Chattanooga Police responded on Saturday at 8:48 p.m. to 3401 S. Orchard Knob Ave., where the body of James Masingill was found in the living room.

Dispatchers said Ms. Morgan had called to say she had murdered the victim two hours earlier and that the crowbar she used was inside the residence. She said she would be waiting for police when they arrived. Officers found her on the front porch in her wheelchair.

Police said Ms. Morgan "admitted that she beat James Masingill with a crowbar as he continually begged for help."

She said she afterward took the victim's wallet and pulled $200 out of it. She said she spent the money on crack cocaine.

Ms. Morgan had been living with the victim.  

The suspect, Laura Morgan, 48, called police and stated she had struck James Masingill, 73, whom she lived with at this residence, in the head with a crowbar.  

When officers arrived, they found Mr. Masingill inside the residence with serious trauma to his head. He was pronounced dead on the scene.  


Chattanooga Railroad Book Now Due Out About Oct. 20

The new book on Chattanooga area railroads being published by Chattanoogan.com had an unexpected delay and will now be out around Oct. 20, author John Wilson said. Railroads In and Around Chattanooga , with many photos by Chattanoogan.com photographer Wes Schultz, will have 568 pages and 1,546 photos and maps. It will be in the same softcover, 11 1/2 x 8 format as the ... (click for more)

Judge Greenholtz Picks Up Papers To Seek Election To Criminal Court Post

Tom Greenholtz, who was recently sworn in as judge of Criminal Court, Division II, has picked up papers to run in the March 3, 2016, election. He was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam after Rebecca Stern stepped down in the middle of her term. Those picking up papers earlier were Assistant Public Defender Mike Little, Soddy Daisy Judge Marty Lasley and Assistant Public Defender ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)

Healthy Silverdale Takes Down Grace For 5-1A Volleyball Title

With season-long injuries healed and a full contingent of players available, Silverdale Baptist Academy completed a run for the District 5-1A volleyball tournament championship by sweeping Grace Baptist Academy, 3-0, on Thursday. The game scores were 25-22, 25-20 and 25-18. The host Lady Seahawks advance to the Region 3-1A tournament on Monday at Sale Creek and will play ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA Volleyball Over Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Signal Mountain seem to bring out the best in each other, at least when the sport is volleyball. These were the top two teams in District 7-AA this fall.  Signal got the top seed based on its 3-0 win at Notre Dame after the Lady Irish had taken a 3-1 match at Signal early in the season. But with all the chips on the line for the 7-AA tournament championship, ... (click for more)