A second man has been arrested in connection with the attempted robbery and fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man ambushed in broad daylight while riding his bike in southeast Fort Worth.
Lajerrian Montae Morgan, 25, was being held in the Mansfield jail Thursday with bail set at $1 million in the capital murder case.
Morgan and James E. Murphy, 37, are accused of running down and hitting Chaz Gilley on Oct. 7 with their car as the teen rode his bike on East Berry Street, then shooting the teen multiple times when he began to run.
Police believe the men had randomly targeted Gilley to rob after he was spotted with money inside the Wal-Mart off East Berry Street.
Chesala Sanderson, Gilley’s mother, has said her son went to the First Convenience Bank inside the Wal-Mart that day to open an account so that he could cash his first paycheck.
A passerby picked up Gilley and drove him to a fire station, where an ambulance was summoned. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital where he died from his injuries almost 24 hours later from multiple gunshots wound to his torso and extremities.
“It brings me great comfort knowing that these guys are off the street and can’t hurt another child or person,” Sanderson said. “It gives me a little bit of peace knowing that we have forward momentum now and these guys are going to be stopped and get the justice my son deserves as well as for all of his other victims.”
Police had earlier released photographs of a “person of interest” in the case caught on surveillance cameras walking out of the Wal-Mart store.
Homicide Detective Matt Barron said Thursday that investigators received a tip based on those photographs. With further investigation, he said, police were able to link Morgan to the black Chrysler believed used in the robbery.
Barron said he believes Morgan was driving the car when Gilley was struck.
Morgan was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his Dallas apartment.
Barron said while Morgan lives in Dallas, investigators have uncovered that Morgan has a work history in Fort Worth as well as possibly ties here to the mother of his child.
Sanderson said she had recently met with a prosecutor in the case and expressed her desire that officials seek the death penalty.
“I thought long and hard about it,” she said. “Vengeance is not mine to get but I do believe in an eye for an eye now.”
Morgan had been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty in Dallas County to violation of a protective order, theft, unauthorized use of firearm by a felon and assault.
He was released in June 2015 after serving his sentence, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials.
Morgan had previously been sentenced in 2010 to 6 months in state jail for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).
Murphy remains held in the Tarrant County Jail, charged with capital murder in the case. He is also being held on a parole violation warrant and on a robbery charge in connection with an unrelated game room robbery that occurred a week after Gilley’s shooting.
Murphy had previously been charged in 2007 with capital murder in connection with the robbery and fatal shooting of O.D. Wyatt freshman Kelvin Collier.
That case, however was dismissed more than a year later because the Tarrant County prosecutor did not feel that there was sufficient evidence to proceed in that case, officials have said.