A man charged with first degree murder for the August shooting death of Omar Lott may soon be cleared of that accusation.
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said Monday that a statement made to detectives by another person arrested in connection with the murder could clear 18-year-old Murphy Robertson in the August 24 shooting death of Lott, whose body was found in a wooded area just off Walter Lyons Road three days later.
“J’Son Turk has given a statement to our investigator on the case that he is the shooter,” Sexton said. “The investigation of this case has been ongoing since the murder. We can’t be 100 percent sure until all the evidence is in, but Turk stated in an interview that his initial story about Murphy Robertson being the shooter is not true.”
Turk, 18, was originally booked on a charge of principal to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. He and his alleged accomplice, Dylan Turk, reportedly were charged Thursday with obstruction of justice for statements made during their initial interviews.
“J’Son and Dylan pretty much had it down when we first interviewed them,” Sexton said. “Their first story … we have been able to discredit it as far as putting Murphy at the scene. They have changed their stories, that J’Son shot (Lott) and Dylan helped with the body.”
An upgrade of J’Son Turk’s charge could be coming after detectives and the district attorney receive additional evidence from the crime lab, Sexton said. All the evidence in the case, including Turk’s statement, has been turned over to the Bossier-Webster District Attorney’s Office for determination.
District Attorney Schuyler Marvin acknowledged his office received the information last Friday, and he will be going over the evidence that has been collected to date.
“We have received the report, and I will screen it this week,” Marvin said. “We do have a full confession from one of the subjects that he in fact pulled the trigger. He had some details that no one knew but the investigators … the type of information to confirm, we believe, that’s what happened.”
Although the evidence obtained so far seems to clear Robertson of involvement in Lott’s murder, he will not be released from Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center where he has been lodged since his arrest, Marvin said. In addition to murder, Robertson was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
“We still have a legitimate weapons charge against Robertson. He had a gun in plain view in the vehicle in which he was a passenger when officers took him into custody,” Marvin said. “Robertson will most likely be cleared of murder, but the firearm charge will not go away.”
Marvin’s office is still waiting for additional evidence to come in, including phone records and reports on DNA which was taken from the suspects.
Turk’s confession that he was the triggerman in Lott’s shooting death was the result of persistence on the part of sheriff’s department detectives who were handling the case.
“Our detectives could have turned in the evidence like it was and left it, but the thing about investigating is wanting to know for sure,” Sexton said. “They followed up on all the different stories and rumors from the community. They worked each one and if it was a dead end, they started over.”
In the end, it seems J’Son Turk “…decided to do the right thing and tell the truth after contacting an investigator and stating he wanted to talk. He gave specifics of the crime that had not been released,” Sexton said.
“The deal with us is we work hard to prove someone is guilty, but we work just as hard to prove someone is not guilty,” the sheriff said.