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Prosecution to present evidence today in Morris murder trial

January 14, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Prosecutors are scheduled to begin presenting evidence today in the trial of Brandon T. Morris, the former state prison inmate accused of killing a correctional officer while escaping from Washington County Hospital in January 2006.

Morris, 22, of Baltimore, could face the death penalty if he is convicted of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty to more than 30 charges, which also include kidnapping and carjacking, but his defense team has said it will focus on proving the shooting was not premeditated.

In opening arguments Friday, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said Morris told Roxbury Correctional Institution officer Jeffery A. Wroten he was going to kill him before shooting him in the face.

Michael said Morris briefly took a woman in the hospital hostage, then carjacked a taxi. He was found 30 minutes later near the Mason-Dixon Line, Michael said.

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Jury selection wrapped up Thursday for the trial, which is being held in Howard County Circuit Court. It was delayed about six months after Morris attempted a courtroom escape in May.

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