Hearing In City Officer's Murder Trial Postponed

May 22, 1991|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff writer

A hearing in the case of a suspended Baltimore City police officer accused of killing his 19-month-old son in Columbia was postponed Monday.

Judge James Dudley set Aug. 12 as the new date to argue defense motions in the case of Carl William Morris Jr.

Morris, 33, of the 6400 block of Barchink Place in Columbia was arrested Jan. 25 on charges of child abuse and first-degree murder in the death of his son, Christopher Morris.

Morris, who at the time was suspended from the Baltimore police force and facing charges in an unrelated assault last fall in Prince George's County, is accused of beating the child to death. He told police his son's fatal injuriesresulted from his falling down stairs. In the Prince George's Countycase, Morris is accused of beating a man in a domestic incident.

Public Defender Louis Willemin appeared in Howard County Circuit Court on Monday to ask that the hearing be postponed because he had not received a report from a forensic pathologist retained by the public defender's office.

The defense has filed motions to suppress a statement Morris gave to police, as well as evidence collected in a search of his home. Willemin described both arguments, which were scheduled to be heard Monday, as routine in such cases.

The trial is set to begin Sept. 9.

Prosecutors last week said they might request that a judge revoke Morris' bail. He is free on $100,000 bond set by Howard County District Judge James N. Vaughan. But he was arrested last week on new charges of harassment and telephone abuse after Christopher's mother, Angellette Friend of Baltimore City, reported that he had contacted her numerous times recently through letters and telephonecalls. She is expected to be a witness in the case.

Willemin contends that police have documented only one "innocent" piece of correspondence from Morris and no phone calls.

At the time of his son's death, Morris was free on personal recognizance on the assault charge.

But upon hearing that Morris had posted bond after the murder charge, the Prince George's County state's attorney's office requested that Morris's personal recognizance be revoked and that bail be set for the assault charge.

A Prince George's County Circuit Court judgeset bail at $250,000 Feb. 5, but another judge reduced it and Morriswas released on $25,000 bond from the Prince George's County Detention Center on May 6.

The trial in the assault case is set for May 29.

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