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Woman avoids trial with plea for killing ex-husband in Republic park in 2008

September 07, 2011|by KY3 News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A woman from Republic faces a 20- to 30-year prison sentence for killing her ex-husband in a Republic city park in 2008.  Rachelle Morris entered an Alford plea on Tuesday, which means she doesn't admit guilt but concedes prosecutors have enough evidence to convict her if the case went to trial.  She entered the same plea to armed criminal action, for which she'll get a 10-year prison sentence, under a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Investigators say Morris, 28, shot Joshua Morris, 28, a former Republic alderman, on Aug. 3, 2008, at J.R. Martin Park.  They believe the Morrises were fighting over their children, who were a a short distance away. 

Joshua Morris was shot in the head.  An ambulance took him to a hospital but doctors couldn't save him.

Rachelle Morris called 911 to report the shooting.  She was charged the next day.

Morris' case was delayed by mental exams.  She spent almost a year in a state mental hospital in Fulton.  Her attorneys argued she isn't competent to stand trial but Greene County Circuit Judge Tom Mountjoy ruled in August 2010 that she is competent, and later scheduled a trial for January 2012.

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Mountjoy scheduled sentencing for Dec. 9.  He ordered Morris to be returned to Fulton until then.
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