INDIANAPOLIS — A jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a woman accused of running over her boyfriend outside a Castleton bar, killing him.
Gaylyn Morris was found guilty Thursday evening of voluntary manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, Andre Smith. On June 3, 2022, Morris ran over Smith with her car multiple times in the parking lot of Tilly's Pub and Grill in Castleton.
Both sides agreed on Morris' guilt, but her attorneys had asked that she be found guilty of a crime lesser than murder, which the jury did in returning its verdict just after 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17, the third day of the trial.
The jury deliberated for less than four hours before delivering its verdict.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.
While admitting Morris' guilt in the case, her defense team said she acted in sudden heat after years of being used by Smith.
"When she goes to the bar, it's to confront her boyfriend. It's to confront the woman that she thinks is Kenya Brown that's cheating on her with her boyfriend, whose bills she's paying, whose rent she's paying, whose treating her like a dog. And she's going there to confront him, not to kill anybody. If she was going to kill, why didn't she bring a gun?" said Morris' attorney, Max Wiley.
"This is not a shocking event," Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Sharpe said. "She's not the girlfriend. She's the sidepiece. Let's stop talking about her like she's this poor, poor, poor girl that we need to protect."
Video shown at trial
Gaylyn Morris is screaming the name of her boyfriend, Andre Smith, as she sits in the back of a police car after learning he was dead.
The body camera video was played on day two of Morris' murder trial.
"When someone is in a parking lot, you don't hear them rev up. They gain acceleration with time. Like, she was at higher rpms, enough where it made me turn around, stop directions, and be like, 'What the heck is going on?' to watch this and see it all happen," said Benjamin Weber, a prosecution witness.
The car stopped with Smith underneath, his head near the front left wheel. Two women who ran out of the bar were the first to talk to Morris, still sitting in the driver's seat.
"I'm speaking with the lady in the car. And I just looked at her and I said, 'Hey, I just need you to stay calm. There's someone underneath your car. I need you to put your car in park," witness Celeste Whalen said.
The first officer to arrive placed Morris in handcuffs. She had tracked Smith to the bar with an Apple AirTag found in the back seat of his car.
She confronted Smith and got into a fight with the woman he was with before they were all told to leave.
Morris left first and was in her car, waiting for her boyfriend to come out.
The trial is expected to wrap up Thursday. The defense is asking the jury to find Morris guilty of a lesser offense than murder.