The case against a gang member accused of fatally shooting a decorated Navy pilot and wounding his cousin last year outside a comedy club at Horton Plaza was sent back to the Presiding Department Tuesday so it can be reassigned to another judge for trial.
Arrow Morris, 41, faces charges of murder, attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and trying to dissuade a witness from testifying in connection with the shooting on June 10, 2017.
Following a status conference, Judge Laura Halgren sent the case back to Presiding Judge Michael Smyth, who will decide which jurist will handle the defendant’s trial. Morris will be back in court Oct. 11.
According to evidence presented at a preliminary hearing last November, Morris was outside the comedy club arguing with his girlfriend about 11:45 p.m. when he allegedly pulled out a gun and — in what the prosecutor called an unprovoked attack — shot 43-year-old James Celani twice in the head and once in the chest.
Celani was taken to a hospital where he died. His cousin was shot in the leg.
A woman who was in Morris’ group inside the club testified that security personnel visited their table two or three times because the defendant’s brother kept making disparaging comments about a gay comedian on stage.
The witness — identified only as Jazmyn — said Morris, his girlfriend Ashley, and his brother walked out of the club after Morris accused Ashley of having romantic feelings toward Jazmyn.
Jazmyn said she went outside and saw Morris rip his girlfriend’s purse from her hands and push her to the ground.
As she ran toward the couple, Jazmyn said she saw Morris pull out a gun. After turning to run away, she said she heard four to five shots ring out.
Ashley testified that Morris took off with her car after the shooting and left her and Jazmyn stranded.
Once she got home, she said she lied to police about what she had seen until finally telling officers that she witnessed Morris shoot the victims.
Morris, who was arrested two days after the shooting, faces 79 years to life in prison plus an additional eight years and four months behind bars if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund.
–City News Service
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