Jason Morgan sentenced to life in prison - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jason Morgan sentenced to life in prison

Jason Morgan has now been sentenced to life in prison for murdering Roy Wyatt. It's the case that all began with a fight over a bicycle.

A second degree murder conviction means automatic life in prison. Still, Morgan and his attorney wanted to have their say before the judge.

It was a unanimous verdict that found Jason Morgan Guilty of Second Degree Murder in the shooting death of Roy Wyatt-- a killing that all started after Morgan's brother Darren became involved in a fight over a bicycle.

As Jason Morgan stood before Judge David Ritchie he again denied killing Wyatt and claimed his brother did it. "Morgan was trying to say that he didn't do the shooting. I mean he's not the one that did the killing and ultimately Lake Charles is a less safe place today because the wrong man was convicted, " explained defense attorney Ted Hartman.

Hartman told the judge he doesn't think the jury did its job because they came back so fast with a guilty verdict." There were a lot of issues that the jury needed to examine more thoroughly and to convict him in an hour and twenty minutes, I just don't think that they held the state to their burden. I don't think they really thoroughly examined the issues. I don't think the jury did their job."

He also criticized the makeup of the jury saying it was mostly white Republicans who couldn't relate to Jason Morgan's world, "The jury was mostly white republicans. I think it's hard for people who are from a vastly different world than, say the poor black world, to cross culturally identify with another culture. They may have looked at Jason as just some black thug who probably did it and the state wouldn't be convicting him if he didn't do it."

Prosecutor Rick Bryant has no doubt Jason Morgan was the shooter. "I would suggest that you could not ever try Darren Morgan because number one, outside his confession, you have two eyewitnesses identifying his brother as the shooter. If we tried Darren Morgan they would certainly be arguing, 'It wasn't Darren. It was Jason.'"

And as far as jury selection, "He picked the jury as well as I did. The jurors who sat were selected by both sides. And, in fact, the foreman of the jury was an African American."

Bryant says soon they will deal with Morgan's brother Darren. "The community will be safer when both of them are put away. And that's our intent. The community is safer today because Jason Morgan will be spending the rest of his life in prison and we intend to deal with his brother in the very near future."

Darren Morgan is set for trial November 7th for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact to second degree murder.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved

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