Morrow murder trial begins

By DeeAnna Haney | Mar 14, 2013

Two and a half years from the morning Amanda Morrow was shot and left to die on a neighbor’s front porch steps, the man accused of her murder is now standing trial.

Michael David Morrow, 42, is accused of choking and then shooting his estranged wife Amanda Morrow, who was 39, in the head in the early morning hours of Oct. 16, 2010.

Amanda Morrow's mother, Dorothy "Dottie" Smith, called 9-1-1 shortly after midnight after receiving a phone call from her daughter saying Morrow was blocking her driveway. She heard arguing and, "Mike, what are you doing?" and then a dial tone.

Detectives began searching for the two and eventually found Michael Morrow lying on his bed at his home with a cocked revolver at his side.

Amanda Morrow's lifeless body was found on a neighbor's porch later that morning.

Following a week of pre-trial motions, the court began the lengthy process of selecting a jury Tuesday morning and did not finish until late afternoon Wednesday.

Nearly 200 potential jurors filled the second-floor courtroom to its maximum capacity Tuesday.

Morrow’s lawyer, J. Michael Edney, reminded jurors that if convicted, his client could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“This man could die in prison,” Edney said.

Six men and six women were chosen to decide whether Morrow is guilty of murdering his wife and violating a domestic violence protective order by possession of a firearm. Jurors will render verdicts for each charge separately.

A turn of events caused a slight delay before the trial even began Thursday when a juror called in sick.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones made a motion to relieve the juror and bring in the first alternate juror to take her place. In response, Edney made a motion for mistrial, claiming prejudice already existed before the trial even began.

The State opposed the motion, as did Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts, who said Edney had ample opportunity to strike the alternate juror during questioning at jury selection.

Letts said he found no error and no prejudice of any kind that would warrant a mistrial.

Jurors heard three witness testimonies Thursday morning, including Dottie Smith and two emergency dispatchers who spoke to her that day. The State also played the two 9-1-1 calls Smith made asking for authorities to look for her daughter.

Smith did not cry until prosecutors asked her to identify a picture of her daughter's body.

Jurors could hear from up to 55 potential witnesses in the case from the State. The trial against Morrow is expected to last about two weeks.

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