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Know More - Morris

June 02, 2007

The issue: State prison inmate Brandon T. Morris is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and other counts in the slaying of Roxbury Correctional Institution Officer Jeffery Alan Wroten. Wroten died Jan. 27, 2006, a day after he was shot in the face in a Washington County Hospital room where he was guarding Morris. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty if Morris is convicted on any of the first-degree murder counts. Morris has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

What happened: Howard County Circuit Judge Dennis M. Sweeney on Friday indefinitely postponed the trial, which was scheduled to begin June 11, after Morris attempted to escape the courtroom on Thursday, the first day of jury selection. Sweeney also said he is considering recusing himself to avoid any appeals based on his role in the melee, which left two prospective jurors and two sheriff's deputies slightly injured.

What's next: Sweeney's decision likely will delay the start of the trial until at least September. He also said he will decide whether to recuse himself sometime after June 12, giving lawyers time to file any motions on the subject.

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