FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An Allen Superior Court judge sentenced a 20-year-old Fort Wayne man to 15 years in prison Friday for his role in a break-in and shooting that left another man severely injured last year.
Cortes A. Morris was one of four people involved in the August 2022 shooting, and he was one of three masked men who entered an apartment with plans on robbing whoever was inside, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
Their motivation for the burglary seemed to stem from 22-year-old Autumn Hayden, a woman who used to live at the apartment before being kicked out by her roommates. Also charged in the shooting, Hayden was in a car waiting for the three men to come back out with whatever they could steal, court documents said.
She also gave the men a key to get into the apartment, court documents said.
Two of the three masked men were armed when they entered the apartment – one with an AK-47, another with a handgun.
Once inside, they used duct tape to bind a man living there to a chair and began looking for items to steal. When the man began to struggle, the two masked men with guns shot him each one time, court documents said.
Morris is accused of being one of the men armed while 22-year-old Brieon Gray is the other.
The three men then left with an XBox gaming system.
Investigators spent months trying to piece together the shooting, which led them to Hayden.
Hayden sent social media messages to her ex-boyfriend letting him know her roommates kicked her out and that she sought revenge.
“You friends kicked me out yesterday over cats. That’s cool tho cus’ be gone get what he deserves (sic),” one message said, according to court documents.
In an interview with detectives, Hayden said she drove Herrera and the other two men to the apartment while she waited in the car. She admitted in court documents to giving them a key to the apartment she still had despite being kicked out.
In video surveillance outside the apartment, investigators watched Hayden’s car pull up to the apartment complex and three men get out. They went inside the apartment and later came out carrying an Xbox gaming system, according to court documents.
The Xbox was later sold to a used gaming store by someone not connected to the robbery, court documents said.
Morris, Hayden, Gray and the fourth person involved, 22-year-old Jordan Herrera, were rounded up this past December and charged with burglary causing serious bodily injury, robbery causing serious bodily injury, and aggravated battery.
Morris, Hayden and Herrera all received similar plea deals from prosecutors, capping their sentences at 15 years. Each one has now received 15 years in prison, according to court records.
Gray’s deal capped his sentence at 20 years, which he received earlier this year.