Nathan Lalone Denies Involvement In Christian Sosa Murder

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

On trial for the 2011 murder of Christian Sosa, Nathan Lalone said in a police statement taken shortly after the homicide that he had nothing to do with the shooting. 

The police interrogation tape was played for the jury Wednesday morning. In the tape, Lalone said that his friends Blakelen "Blake" Adams and Tyler Conrad had been the ones discussing harming Mr. Sosa. 

According to the state, 19-year-old Christian Sosa and his girlfriend Meghan Bennett drove to the Apison Park tennis courts to meet with Tyler Conrad and "do some drugs" on Nov. 11, 2011. 

However, when they arrived in Ms. Bennett's car, someone immediately started shooting at the passenger's side door, killing Sosa almost instantly. Ms. Bennett was also shot twice, but managed to drive the car away.  

In Lalone's police interview, he said that he was angry at the victim at the time because he had stolen one of the defendant's guns. Still, Lalone said in 2011, "I never wished death upon him for stealing my gun."

He said of Adams and Conrad, "They're trying to put this on me because they're best friends." At that time, Adams and Conrad had both been charged with conspiracy to commit murder. However, charges against Adams have been dismissed and Conrad passed away in 2013. 

Lalone described Conrad as a "junkie" who had formerly lived in a "halfway house in Alabama."

Adams testified as a witness on Wednesday morning. He admitted that before his original police interview, he had taken multiple pills of the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin, a benzodiazepine.  

During his interrogation, he also said he did not kill Sosa. He said he had not seen him in "months and months and months."

On the video, he also called Sosa "retarded" and said the victim was "always walking around with guns." 

Two TBI agents also testified as witnesses. They said that no blood or gunshot residue was found on the items collected and identified as belonging to Lalone. 

When questioned by defense attorney Kevin Loper, Special Agent Gregory Fort said that the hands and clothing of Adams and Conrad had not been swabbed. 

Late Wednesday, a friend of the young men, Sabrina Lovett, was called in as a witness. Ms. Lovett said she had been hanging out with Adams, Conrad, and Lalone earlier on the day of the murder. She said she also saw Lalone after the incident. 

Ms. Lovett said, "He said he 'hit him in the dome' or somebody 'hit him in the dome' or he 'wanted to go home.' I think it was that he 'hit him in the dome.'" 

However, she said earlier that day, Adams, not the defendant, had a confrontation with Sosa at a gas station. She described him as seeming to be angry after that. 

In Ms. Lovett's original police tape, she hesitated to talk at first because she was afraid of "ratting out" the others. She said she had sworn not to talk.  

Once she started talking, she described multiple conversations that day between the four of them where Adams and Lalone both spoke about wanting to kill Sosa. 

Particularly, she said Lalone said Sosa needed to "get what he deserves." She said in the original interview that she did not think that Lalone would go through with it.  

She said finally he got angry enough that he decided to go by himself. She said that she went with Adams and Conrad to Walmart to get a receipt to prove that they were not involved in the shooting. 

While there, she said Conrad called Sosa to get him to Apison Park where Lalone was waiting. 

On the 2011 recording, she described Lalone, "He's not that type of person at all. I don't know what got into him."

She said they all had sworn not to tell, but she changed her mind after she thought Adams was "ratting her out."  

The trial will continue Thursday. 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, BRIAN PATRICK 7337 VALLEY LANE HIXSON, 37343 45 Hamilton County POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW VIOLATION IMPROPER PASSING (NO PASSING ZONES) POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ALLEN, THADDEUS JOEL 3401 CAMPBELL ST #313 CHATTANOOGA, 37406 21 Hamilton County DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Crimestoppers: Robbery At Highway 58 Family Dollar

Crime Stoppers and the Chattanooga Police Department are seeking information on a robbery from a business that occurred at the Family Dollar at 4749 Highway 58 on Oct. 21.  Chattanooga Police need the public's help with the identification of the suspects in the pictures. One suspect was observed through surveillance video entering the store displaying a handgun. Both suspects ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Soccer Advance to A-AA State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Juniors Sofia Olenchek and Emma Higgins scored two goals each to lead Notre Dame to a 4-0 victory against No.14 Spring Hill here Wednesday night in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. The win advances unranked Notre Dame (11-5-4) to the state semis against Jackson Christian Thursday at 5 p.m. EDT. No.6 Jackson Christian ... (click for more)

CCS Soccer Wins 1-0; Advances to State Semis

MURFREESBORO - Freshman striker Olivia Hoffman was in the right place at the right time as her goal in the 26th minute proved to be the match winner as No.25 Chattanooga Christian defeated No. 8 Hume Fogg, 1-0, here Wednesday in a TSSAA A-AA State Girls Soccer Quarterfinal at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. "The ball bounced off a couple of players and I was able to put it in ... (click for more)