Morris is charged with felony murder in relation to an Aug. 22, 2009, incident at the Amberwood Apartments on North Tennessee Street that left Joshua Lee Moore dead at the scene. Morris allegedly fired the shots during a physical altercation.
Witnesses testified again Wednesday, recalling the fatal night, as the prosecution called police officers and neighbors to the stand.
Morris’ ex-girlfriend said he was upset after an argument about their relationship, and she had locked him out of the apartment, telling him to stay somewhere else for the night. During their conversation she recalled him pleading with her to take the gun and hide it from him somewhere in the apartment where he could not find it. She refused.
The woman said she never heard the fight and found out later that evening what had happened. She received a phone call from Morris, who had fled to an acquaintance’s home on Jones Mill Road, and she informed him that one of the men he had been fighting with was dead.
“He lost it,” she said. “He was horrified that it had happened ... and he thought they were going to kill him.”
Child cruelty case
ends with guilty verdict
Billy Scott Elrod was found guilty of cruelty to children in the first degree in Judge Shepherd Howell’s court Wednesday morning.
Elrod was charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children after his girlfriend’s son fractured his leg and had suspicious bruises along his face and abdomen. On the count of aggravated battery, Elrod was found not guilty.
Katherine Barlow, the child’s mother, also was charged with cruelty to children. She pleaded guilty Monday to negligency - failure to seek medical attention.
Prosecutors from the District Attorney’s office questioned medical examiners and a nurse who treated the child, who shared their professional opinions that the specific fracture the toddler suffered and several bruises could not have been received in the incident described by Elrod.
When asked why Elrod did not feel the child needed immediate medical attention in a February interview, he said the boy seemed fine.
“He’s a tough dude,” said Elrod. “He wasn’t crying.”
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.