CROWN POINT | Graphic evidence, including autopsy photos of Montrell Moss, and testimony from a witness who tried to stop Moss’ bleeding, came Wednesday during the second day of Edgar Singleton’s murder trial in Lake Criminal Court.
Singleton, 61, of Chicago, is charged with killing Moss, 23, of East Chicago, on Aug. 8 near Hammond’s Horseshoe Casino in a road rage case that started when Singleton cut off Moss.
According to court testimony, Moss then pulled alongside Singleton and threw a cup of cola at Singleton's van. The two drivers went through more lane changes, cutting each other off and jockeying for position after that.
Singleton, a former Cook County Sheriff’s Department correction officer, fired his 9 mm service weapon at Moss, hitting Moss in the left neck area, according to court documents. After being shot, Moss lost control of his blue Buick LeSabre and the car struck a fuel pump at a nearby gas station.
Singleton claims he shot Moss in self-defense because he saw the younger man with a gun, according to defense attorney Philip T. King.
Testimony from Hammond police officers throughout Wednesday focused on the lack of a gun found at the scene, in Moss’ vehicle or in the hands of anyone near the gas station.
Ashley Schreiber, of Whiting, testified she saw Moss’ car cross the median and hit a diesel pump at the station.
“I drove into the gas station to see if everyone was OK. I thought someone had a heart attack,” said Schreiber, who is trained as an emergency medical technician and cardiology assistant.
Schreiber said she saw a man trying to get the car door open. When she saw blood on the door, Schreiber went back to her car to get napkins to apply pressure to Moss’ wound.
Questioned by both King and Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Michael Woods about a gun, Schreiber said she saw no one with a gun at the gas station.
Dr. John Cavanaugh testified he performed an autopsy on Moss for the Lake County coroner.
King objected to some of the autopsy photos being shown in court, and Judge Salavador Vasquez ruled in the defense’s favor.
The photos shown to the jury included one of Moss’ body prior to the autopsy and some of the damage to his organs caused by the bullet.
Cavanaugh said a single bullet entered through the base of Moss’ neck near the left collarbone, ricocheted through his body, severed his windpipe and hit the top of his right lung and the fifth rib near his right armpit. The pathologist said he recovered three fragments of the bullet during the autopsy.
Although Moss’ death wasn’t instantaneous, the massive bleeding caused major organ disruption and lack of oxygen to his organs, Cavanaugh said.
The trial resumes Thursday.