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Walmart murder suspects appear in court

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Danarius and Demetrius Coleman appeared in court on last Wednesday. The two brothers are accused of murdering Latre Lillard and Andre Chesterfield in the Walmart parking lot off Old Fort Parkway on Jan. 29. Photo by Sam Stockard

One of two brothers charged in a Walmart parking lot double murder told his girlfriend he was getting ready for “an easy takedown” in a drug-deal robbery and later admitted he killed two people, according to her court testimony.

Ladorothy Morrison, 19, an Antioch resident originally from Chicago, testified last week in a General Sessions Court hearing she was working the night of Jan. 29 at Steak & Shake in Antioch when Danarius Coleman texted her and told her “something horrible happened” and he needed her to be with him.

Morrison said she when he met her at his apartment that night he was carrying a bloody garbage bag and later told her about the murder and showed her cell-phone video from the shooting scene.

“He basically said it was either him or them because they had guns on them, too,” she testified.

Two counts of first-degree murder against Coleman, 19, and his brother Demetrius Coleman, 21, both Antioch residents from Chicago, were bound over to the grand jury in a probable cause hearing before General Sessions Judge David Loughry. They are both being held on $750,000 bond for the shooting deaths of Latre Lillard, 19, and Andre Chesterfield, 19, of Murfreesboro.

The bloody bodies of Lillard and Chesterfield were found lying in the Walmart parking lot near their vehicle around 11 o’clock that night. Police targeted the Colemans as suspects after Demetrius reported his vehicle stolen the next morning. Authorities later found the vehicle burned up and with some of the windows blown out.

Danarius Coleman was arrested Feb. 5 at his Antioch apartment, and Murfreesboro Police arrested Demetrius Coleman two weeks later in Chicago with the help of authorities there.

Morrison said she met Danarius Coleman in mid-2013 and they started a romantic relationship. Just prior to the double murder, she testified, “He told me he met somebody in Murfreesboro” and “It was going to be an easy takedown.”
Coleman told her he was going to rob someone in a drug transaction, Morrison testified, and when she went to his Double Tree apartment in Nashboro Village after leaving work early that night, he arrived later carrying a bag sopping with blood. Inside, he told her that “he killed two people,” she said.

Morrison said he had a cell phone video of blood and brains in their car and glass shot out. “I asked why he showed me that,” she said.

Danarius later told her he had to leave to take care of something, and Demetrius talked about cars being stolen and burned, she said. Morrison also detailed how she went with Danarius and another man weeks before the incident to a shooting range where they fired three weapons, a pump gun, a .22-caliber pistol and a .40-caliber pistol.
In questioning by Demetrius’ attorney, Derrick Scretchen, Morrison said she never heard Demetrius mention anything about his involvement.

Jalen Rawls, an Antioch resident who said he knew Demetrius from going to school with him at Tennessee State University, testified that he gave them a ride to their apartment. He said they sent him a first text around 11:30 p.m. and he picked them up as they were walking near Sumner Apartments. He said he didn’t ask them why they needed a ride.

Murfreesboro Police Detective Larry Maples, the lead detective in the case, testified he went to the Walmart parking lot that night and saw the bodies of the two victims. They had to be identified by their fingerprints, he said.

Based on an autopsy report, Chesterfield had four gunshot wounds to his neck, chin and both arms, while Lillard sustained eight gunshot wounds to his skull, chest, mouth and thigh, Maples testified.

Investigators found .40-caliber shelling casings, glass and bullet fragments at the scene, and a 9 mm handgun at Lillard’s feet. It had six or seven rounds in it and the magazine was frozen shut with blood, he said.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman played video showing vehicles believed to be the victims’ and the suspects’ pull into the parking lot and park one in front of the other.

The tape shows at least one passenger in the victims’ car getting out and going toward the suspects’ car. At 10:34, muzzle flashes are seen, and one minute later the suspects’ vehicle leaves the Walmart parking lot, according to Maples.

Police put out a bulletin and got two of the last three digits of the suspects’ license plate. They matched that to the vehicle that Demetrius reported stolen to Metro Police the next morning, Maples said. When police found the car, which had been burned, it had bullet holes in it showing shots had been fired from the inside. It also had one 9 mm shell casing, according to testimony.

Detectives began suspecting Demetrius’ involvement in the shooting after he gave them conflicting statements about the car’s theft, Maples testified.

Murfreesboro Police already had one victim’s cell phone, and the last number it received was a 733 area code matching Danarius Coleman’s cell phone number, Maples said.

Detectives arrested Danarius in Antioch and traced Demetrius to Chicago by using his cell phone number, Maples said.
Danarius denied knowing the shooting victims and told police he didn’t know how their number got in his cell phone, Maples testified. In fact, Danarius told police he had never been to Rutherford County.

MPD turned Danarius’ cell phone over to TBI, which is seeking a password from Apple to access video on it, according to Maples.

Maples’ said his investigation found that Chesterfield and Danarius Coleman met Jan. 25 and exchanged several calls and text messages over the next few days.

Cell phone records showed the defendants and victims exchanged text messages shortly before the time of the murder, and cell tower records traced Danarius Coleman’s phone to the Walmart parking lot, according to Maples.

Asked by Scretchen what he thought Danarius Coleman’s role was based on his investigation, Maples said, “My belief is Demetrius was driving his car. Danarius killed Latre Lillard and tried to cover it up.”

Cell phone records put him in Murfreesboro at the time of the shooting and statements from witnesses indicate he was at the scene, Maples said. He added Demetrius was the second person involved.

Two other men since interviewed by detectives heard one of the brothers bragging about the shooting incident, Maples testified.

Newman pointed out that there were two separate gunshot trajectories from the front seat of the vehicle into the back seat. “It indicates to me there’s two shooters involved,” he said.

Scretchen argued that nothing showed Demetrius Coleman was one of the shooters. Danarius Coleman was represented by attorney Tillman Payne.

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Andre Chesterfield, Danarius Coleman, Demetrius Coleman, Ladorothy Morrison, Latre Lillard, murder, walmart
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