Witness: Morgan brother told her other brother would ‘take the charge’

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The final witness in the opening-day of testimony on Tuesday in the second-degree murder trial of Jason Morgan collapsed as she left the courtroom.

Courtroom deputies called for an ambulance and attended to the witness as Judge David Ritchie dismissed jurors for the day.

The witness, who seemed to be under an immense amount of stress, had just testified that she was with Jason Morgan and his brother, Darren Morgan, on the night of the June 2010 homicide.

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She said she met up with the brothers after the incident, but did not know what happened until they told her.

Jason Morgan told her about the shooting and that his brother intended to “take the charge” for the shooting that killed 43-year-old Roy Edward Wyatt, she said.

Earlier in the day, Prosecutor Rick Bryant played three 911 recordings — two of which were from Darren Morgan — in which the caller confessed to the shooting and asking for the number to Lake Charles police.

Darren Morgan has a pending trial date for accessory after the fact to second-degree murder and obstruction of justice charges in connection with the fatal shooting.

However, Bryant called several witnesses to the stand who identified Jason Morgan as the shooter.

Witnesses said that during the argument, Jason Morgan threatened to get a gun and left the scene.

The victim’s son, Jeremy Wyatt, said he watched as Jason Morgan returned to the scene after the argument, shot his father and fired at other members of the victim’s family.

Two of Wyatt’s daughters also said Jason Morgan was the shooter, although one failed to pick him out of a police photo lineup shortly after the shootings.

Defense attorney Ted Hartman said that Darren Morgan, who was Wyatt’s neighbor at the time, actually shot Wyatt.

He said Jason Morgan had a family and access to vehicles. He would never have shot a someone over a bicycle, he said.

Darren Morgan, a “crackhead who doesn’t own a car,” would have been more apt to shoot someone threatening his only means of transportation, Hartman said.

The trial resumes today at 9 a.m. with more witnesses for the prosecution set to take the stand.