As Prosecutor Rick Bryant put it, "What a stupid reason for anyone to die--an argument over a bicycle."
But that's apparently what started it all and after only an hour and fifteen minutes the jury found Jason Morgan guilty of second degree murder of Roy Wyatt. Bryant had argued to the jury that there was overwhelming evidence that Jason Morgan committed the crime from eye witness accounts by Wyatt's son and step-daughter along with physical evidence. Said Bryant, "They have no motive to lie about this. Why would they lie about the person who killed their father. On top of that we corroborated their testimony with the physical evidence that was brought out before the jury as to the projectiles and how the gun was fired and those types of things which clearly corroborated their statements because only someone actually viewing this crime would be able to come back with that information."
Still, the defense tried to convince the jury that it wasn't Jason, but Darren Morgan who killed Roy Wyatt--saying that Darren's confession in a call to 911 was more credible than witness accounts. Ted Hartman represented Jason Morgan. "The 911 tapes that Darren Morgan initially said when he called 911 and confessed to the crime that's the only credible confession in this case," said Hartman.
Hartman had argued to the jury that the state should charge Darren with murder-- however, Bryant argued successfully that Darren didn't need to be rewarded for concocting a plan to try to get his brother off. "Why do brothers do what they do," said Bryant. "All I know is there was a plan that was concocted at the house of Rica Coleman and that plan came to fruition but the eyewitness testimony as well as the actions of the defendant after the murder clearly showed that he's the one that fired the weapon that night."
At one point Jason Morgan had complained he had hardly seen his attorney at all over the past three months. Hartman says that may be an issue on which to base an appeal. "I would like to see him ever single day and investigate the case with all the resources of the state if I could. IF he wants to make any kind of ineffective of counsel claim I'll actually help him with that."
As deputies escorted Jason Morgan from the courtroom, he started shouting profane language and threats-- apparently directed toward the victim's family and the prosecutor. Deputies kept close watch and eventually all parties left the courthouse without incident.
Morgan will be sentenced October 12th. His brother Darren still faces charges of obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to second degree murder. He is set for trial on November 7.