Detective Says Woman Bought Crack From "Dope Man" Before And After Killing Longtime Companion

Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Defense attorney David Barrow and Laura Lee Morgan
Defense attorney David Barrow and Laura Lee Morgan

Detective Lucas Fuller testified Tuesday that Laura Lee Morgan told him she bought crack cocaine from "the dope man" before and after killing her 73-year-old longtime companion with a crowbar.

General Sessions Court Judge Christie Sell bound charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery against the 48-year-old Ms. Morgan to the Grand Jury.

The detective said he was summoned on Jan. 26 to the house at 3401 S. Orchard Knob Ave., where Ms. Morgan lived with the victim, James Masingill.

He said they had been together for 15 years.

He said the victim was sprawled in a glider rocker with blood covering him, the walls, ceiling and floor. He said his face was mangled from an approximate 17 blows.

Detective Fuller said Ms. Morgan, who is a double amputee with no legs, was waiting on police on the front porch.

She later gave a statement in which she said Mr. Masingill was addicted to the scratch-off lottery. She said that day he left to buy some tickets, which she said upset her. She said while he was gone she called "the dope man" and he brought her $80 worth of crack cocaine, which she smoked. She said Mr. Masingill returned from getting the lottery tickets to say he had won $40. He gave her $20 of his winnings.

She said she told him about buying the crack and he became angry, then she said he came after her with a crowbar. She said she snatched it away from him and began hitting him in the head repeatedly.

The detective said he saw no injuries on Ms. Morgan and found no signs of a struggle. He did find the blood-covered crowbar.

Ms. Morgan said as her companion lay dead in one corner of the room she dialed up "the dope man" again and he brought her $200 more of crack. She said she smoked it before summoning police.

Detective Fuller said Ms. Morgan refused to identify "the dope man."


Police Blotter: Repeat Meat Thief Not Welcome At Aldi's

The manager of the Aldi's on Highway 153 said a repeat meat thief has been told to stay away from all units of the grocery chain. He said a short and stocky, bald white male took $300 to $400 in meats from the store June 18. The manager said the same man returned this week and headed straight for the meat department. He put some bacon in his box. He was approached and told ... (click for more)

Debbie Allison Is 2nd Arrest In Home Invasion In Rossville

According to Sheriff Gary Sisk, a second arrest has been made from the Home Invasion that was reported last Friday, at 153 Vero Beach Avenue, Rossville. Deputies have charged Debbie Lynn Allison, 57, of Flat Rock, Al., with home invasion and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Ms. Allison is being held in the Jackson County, Al., jail where she will remain ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)

McCallie's JaVaughn Craig Still Improving At Quarterback

(This is the 14th in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area) JaVaughn Craig was the starting quarterback for McCallie all season a year ago, but it wasn’t originally planned like that. Craig was a wide receiver when he resumed his football career ... (click for more)

Hixson Beats Silverdale For Second Volleyball Win

There's something about that second set that gives the Hixson Lady Wildcats trouble. Hixson lost the second set in Monday's volleyball opener against Sale Creek.  They did the same thing against the Silverdale Seahawks on Tuesday, but just like Monday's match, the Lady Wildcats came out on top, 3-1. Hixson won the first set with ease, 25-11.  Silverdale evened the  ... (click for more)