Testimony in murder trial continues

LIMA — Testimony continued Tuesday in the trial of of a Toledo man accused of assaulting a man and killing his son.

Demarco Morris, 34, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of second-degree felonious assault and first-degree felony discharging a firearm on prohibited premises. All charges carry firearm specifications. Morris is accused of shooting at a truck and killing Davion Latson, 25, on Sept. 5, 2021.

Three witnesses who were at the scene testified on Tuesday, and were called by the court. Allen County Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser advised witnesses Lemonda Pryor, Melody Griffith and Zander Holland of the law against perjury and obstruction, as the three individuals had changed their stories and been uncooperative with the Lima Police Department’s investigation.

On Monday, Michael Latson testified that he was assaulted at a home on South Perry Street by a man named Larry Luke and by Morris, and was picked up by his son, Davion Latson. He said Morris shot at the truck when his son stopped outside the home, and Davion Latson sped off and crashed, dying from a bullet wound.

Luke, Griffith’s boyfriend and an owner of the South Perry Street home, was subpoenaed to testify on Tuesday but did not appear in court.

Jennifer Stewart, Michael Latson’s girlfriend, testified that she had been calling Latson repeatedly because it was unlike him to not return home before 11 p.m. She said when he picked up the phone, he seemed very confused and told her that “they just jumped me.”

Stewart said once she discovered the man’s location, she called her son to pick up his father and remained on the phone. She said she heard the shots and Davion Latson take his last breath.

Multiple individuals were removed from the courtroom following an argument between Tyreese Morris, a family member of the defendant, and a woman there for the Latson family on Monday.

Griffith testified Tuesday that a gray truck, which was later determined to be Davion Latson driving his father, drove by the Perry Street home once before coming back the other way. She said the younger Latson yelled out the window asking who hurt his dad and Demarco Morris started shooting. She said she did not see anyone with a gun.

Griffith said after the shooting, two young men came to the home in a red vehicle and Morris gave one of them the gun. She said one of the men placed a gun under a mattress in her house.

Pryor testified that he saw Davion Latson get out of the car and that he appeared to have a gun, but he never saw one. He said that Morris later told him Michael Latson had threatened his three children who were at the home, but he didn’t witness that.

Holland, whose cousin lived down the street from the South Perry Street home, testified that he is unsure if Davion Latson got out of the car. He said Michael Latson had been “threatening people for no reason” before he left.

Holland said he heard the shots as the truck was leaving.

Lima Police officers responded to the crash scene, in which the truck was flipped upside down and wedged against a house down the street. Patrol Officer Christian Martin said he observed Davion Latson with a gunshot wound in his left rib. He had not responded to police who arrived before the fire department removed him from the vehicle.

Patrol Officer Brittney Osting testified that at around 5 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2021, she was in the back of the Perry Street home securing the scene when she heard movement from the neighboring home’s shed.

Body camera footage showed Demarco Morris, who had been named as a suspect, leaving the shed and Osting and other officers ordering him to get on the ground. He was arrested, and Osting found a pocket knife in the shed.

Demarco Morris complied with officers’ orders according to their testimony, and denied killing anyone.

Osting said she saw a “Glock case” in plain view inside a red vehicle parked outside the Perry Street home.

Testimony will continue Wednesday at 9 a.m.