INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis woman is charged with murder after police believe she intentionally ran over a man with her car.
The crime was witnessed by several people at Tilly’s Pub. By the time arrived, the victim was dead, crushed underneath her car, according to court documents.
Gaylyn Morris, 26, is now charged with murder in the June 3 death of 26-year-old Andre Smith.
Officers responded to the parking lot of Tilly’s Pub on 82nd Street around 12:30 a.m. on June 3. They found Smith under the front end of a blue Chevy Impala. He was pronounced dead less than 30 minutes later.
An autopsy found he died from traumatic asphyxia; the coroner ruled his death a homicide.
A witness recounted seeing Smith under the car, with his head wedged behind the driver’s side front wheel. The passenger side front tire was on his ankles, according to another witness. No one could reach him to perform CPR because the car was completely covering his body.
At least two witnesses told police that Morris had pulled up to the side of the bar and asked them if they’d seen Smith and informed them she’d been tracking him with a GPS on her phone.
Once Morris spotted him, she got out of her car, entered the bar and confronted Smith and another woman. She grabbed an empty bottle and took a swing at the woman, witnesses said, but Smith blocked it.
The bartender told them all to leave after the altercation. After they left, Morris got back into her car and drove away. A witness reported seeing her parked at a business next door, where she waited for Smith and the other woman to leave.
At that point, Morris pulled forward onto the sidewalk and clipped a worker who’d tried to intervene. Morris veered around the worker, witnesses said, and then hit Smith, who disappeared under the car. Morris backed over Smith and then pulled forward again and stopped the car on top of him, witnesses said.
One witness said Morris sped up before hitting Smith.
Witnesses took video of the encounter, including one that had a clear view of Morris’ face as she sat in the Impala. The video also captured the license plate, which showed the car was registered to Morris.
During an interview with police, Morris said she and Smith lived together. She was convinced he was seeing other women and had been “staying out all night” lately. She said she’d told him to pack his things and leave.
When asked how she knew he was at Tilly’s, Morris said she was driving around and remembered there was a hotel nearby where Smith would sometimes go to be by himself or with other women. She said she saw his car outside the pub and confronted him.
In Morris’ retelling, the other girl with Smith had gotten “aggressive” with her, prompting her to grab an empty beer bottle to “defend herself.” After Smith broke up a fight between the two, they were all ordered to leave.
Morris said she waited for Smith and the other woman to come outside. She’d intended to drive her car at the other woman, she told police, and didn’t mean for Smith to end up under her car. She claimed she’d hit Smith when he and the woman were both trying to run away.
While Morris initially denied putting a tracker in Smith’s car, she eventually admitted she put an Apple AirTag in the back seat of his vehicle near the cupholder, according to court documents.
A search of Morris’ car on the day after the incident turned up a beer bottle, a shirt she was seen wearing in video from the bar and a box for the Apple AirTag, police said.
“We are devastated man and heartbroken,” said Smith’s cousin Khiry Day. “I really don’t think anything can justify my cousin being gone.”
Smith’s family says while Morris believed Smith was cheating on her with another woman, Smith was not dating the suspect at the time, but she had become obsessed with his personal life.
“Things like this are sad and heartbreaking because it’s not supposed to go this far,” said Smith’s cousin Larry Banks.
Also this week, prosecutors filed murder charges against another suspect Kyle Rigdon, who police believe intentionally ran over and killed his ex-girlfriend Kayla Bowling along south Rural.
“It’s a little unusual because in both cases they used a vehicle to commit the crimes,” said Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears.
Prosecutor Mears admits murder charges for vehicular homicides are rare, but believes both deaths were intentional.
“What we are alleging is that they did turn their vehicles into weapons,” said Mears.
Mears also agreed with Smith’s family, wishing everyone would seek help escaping toxic relationships before they turn deadly.
“Nobody should have their life taken away due to relationship issues,” said Banks.
“We’ve seen an increase in domestic related crimes and homicides, so if you know anyone involved in these relationships do everything to help them get out of the relationships and protect those individuals,” said Mears.