The Pryor Times

March 8, 2013

Morrison set for trial

Staff Writer
Susan Wagoner

— A trial date has been set for April 15, in the sexual battery case of J.R. Morrison, a former employee of the Pryor Municipal Utility Department.

Morrison previously entered a blind plea during jury selection of a trial that began in late October, 2012.

Judge Shawn Taylor, who posed sentence, gave Morrison a six-month suspended sentence but required him to register as a level 1 sex offender.

Level 1 requires registering with law enforcement for 15 years. Level 2 is 25 years and Level 3 is life.

According to a Motion to Withdraw Plea, filed in early November, negotiations were taking place during the trial as to a possible settlement.

“Counsel for the Defendant has been advised by the Department of Corrections that it is their belief that the Court was without the proper authority to issue an order concerning the level to be assigned ... and that they have no intention of following said order.”

The motion stated that Morrison was to be assigned to a Level 3 status, requiring him to register as a sex offender for life.

It goes on to state that “it is the belief of the Defendant that an important part of the agreement is no longer a legal possibility.”

Morrison, through his attorney Charles Ramsey, asked to withdraw his plea of no contest.

Morrison appeared in court on March 4, on the felony jury sounding docket. Jury trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. on April 15.