Two dead; ‘sour’ drug deal blamed

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 27, 2002

MONTICELLO — Two men are dead after an apparent drug deal “wentsour” in rural Lawrence County Thursday, according to thesheriff.

Mark M. Morris, 41, of Rt. 1 Box 40C, Pinola, was pronounceddead around 2:40 p.m. by Lawrence County Coroner Dr. Joe Ward.Morris had been transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Charles D. “Casey” Corbett, 22, of 154 West Smith Ferry Road,Sontag, was pronounced dead later that afternoon at his sister’sresidence in Mendenhall after shooting himself.

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A third person, Cedric D. Lewis, 25, of Rt. 3 Box 98, Oma, is incustody at the Lawrence County Jail in connection with theincident. He is charged with conspiracy to receive or distribute acontrolled substance and is being questioned.

“From what we have learned, he was not involved in theshootings, but was involved in the alleged drug deal,” said SheriffJoel Thames.

Lewis is cooperating with the questioning.

“There are some discrepancies there, but he is cooperatingsome,” Thames said. “There are still some inconsistencies and a lotof unanswered questions.”

The investigation is continuing, Thames said, but apparentlyCorbett and Lewis were in Corbett’s car and met Morris on MildredLittle Road, a small county road in a sparsely populated area nearOma. The meeting took place about 300 yards off Highway 27 North,he said.

Apparently, Thames said, something went wrong and Morris andLewis argued with Corbett.

During the altercation, Corbett, who was outside his vehicle,fired a .22 caliber revolver at Morris, who was still behind thewheel of his 1994 white Ford Ranger pickup, and struck him once inthe neck.

Authorities are not sure how three of the tires on Corbett’s carwere flattened with a knife, but with his own car disabled, Corbettpushed Morris out of the truck and fled in the victim’svehicle.

The sheriff’s office and ambulance service responded to a 911call at 2:09 p.m. When they arrived they found Lewis and Morris.Morris had no pulse and was rushed to Lawrence County Hospitalwhere he was pronounced dead by the coroner. Lewis was taken intocustody.

The sheriff’s office began looking for Corbett and called hisfamily and friends.

“The last known sighting we had was on Nola Road heading towardLincoln County,” Thames said. “He went to his sister’s home inMendenhall and got there sometime after 5 p.m.”

When Corbett arrived at his sister’s home he informed her he hadshot someone in Lawrence County, according to Simpson CountySheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Bernard Gunter.

The sheriff’s office had already notified her of the crime,Thames said, and she responded that the person he had shot haddied.

Corbett went outside and sat in his sister’s car while talkingto his brother-in-law. During that conversation, he shot himself inthe right temple with a .22 automatic pistol despite hisbrother-in-law’s efforts to stop him, Gunter said.

The .22 caliber revolver used in Morris’ murder was found inCorbett’s possession. It had five live and one spent round in it,Gunter said.

Ward has ordered an autopsy for Morris, Thames said, but theSimpson County coroner is not going to order one for Corbettbecause he shot himself in front of witnesses.