Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2008

Markieff Morris’ attorney enters not guilty plea in battery case

An attorney enters a not guilty plea for KU basketball recruit Markieff Morris.

August 21, 2008, 4:24 p.m. Updated August 21, 2008, 5:02 p.m.


An attorney entered a not guilty plea for incoming Kansas University basketball player Markieff Morris Thursday in Lawrence Municipal Court and denied that his client fired an Airsoft rifle BB gun out of his Jayhawker Towers apartment Saturday night.

According to the KU Public Safety Office, Morris, 18, admitted to shooting the Airsoft rifle BB gun out of his apartment Saturday. A 47-year-old woman in the courtyard below received minor injuries when she was hit in the arm by a plastic pellet. According to a police report, Morris was suspected of using alcohol.

Brad Finkeldei, Morris' attorney, said the facts in the case haven't been accurately reported.

"Most importantly, Mr. Morris was not the person who fired the Airsoft pellet gun from the window," Finkeldei said. "He did not admit to firing the gun out the window."

Finkeldei said he wasn't able to comment further because of a pending investigation.

A Dec. 12 Lawrence Municipal Court hearing has been set in the case, in which Morris is charged with battery, although he could submit an application for diversion, the city prosecutor's office said.

The case does involve the possibility of jail time, City Prosecutor Tom Porter said.

Morris also faces possible university sanctions if he's found to have violated a student housing policy, which could include suspension from university housing, according to the KU Student Housing handbook.

"University code and housing policy expressly prohibits weapons of any type, including pellet guns and paintball guns," said university spokeswoman Jill Jess.

A university investigation will address whether an Airsoft BB gun is considered to be a weapon, Jess said. Federal law forbids the university from discussing student disciplinary investigations.

Ken Farris, a distributor of Airsoft guns in Lawrence, said the guns aren't considered weapons unless they're used as such.

"These things can be used in a game," Farris said of their intended purpose, "but it's not a toy that you're supposed to run around in public with or snipe people from windows."


wysiwyg69 9 years, 9 months ago

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institches 9 years, 9 months ago

lionheart..."Just tired of seeing people getting away with things just because of athletics."...lets remember if this has been Joe Citizen, it probably would not have been reported to the LJ ordinary folks "get away" with circumstances like this, too. You just don't hear about it, because nobody really cares unless it is a "celebrity."

Bassetlover 9 years, 9 months ago

I would normally agree...but then I see Brad Finkeldei is his attorney so there has to be something else going on here that hasn't been reported. Brad is a brilliant and extremely fair-minded lawyer and wouldn't take on a case like this otherwise. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

lionheart72661 9 years, 9 months ago

So as I see it once more and it really does not matter who the attorney is, the man admitted to shooting the pellet rifle but, not to "PREDICT" anything but just history repeating itself he will get off and yes some poor scapegoat will take the blame for it. To comment on the statement that a air gun is NOT a weapon, well neither is a telephone until you hit someone with it. All I have to say is instead of battery it should be listed under Assault With A Deadly Weapon. He admitted to shooting the rifle let him pay the consequences. If it was joe citizen he'd have to pay for it. BUT we are talking about a possible championship hopeful aren't we? So just what price do we pay to keep an athlete out of trouble? I am not saying he's a bad kid but he made a bad decision to shoot the rifle (by his own admission) let him be a man and receive the punishment for what happened.

John Hamm 9 years, 9 months ago

So now some scapegoat will come forward and admit that he not Markieff fired the rifle. It was all a misunderstanding when the Police asked who fired the pellet rifle.I guess they didn't offer the woman a nice enough vacation package.

imagold 9 years, 9 months ago

Maybe if he hadn't been drinking (suspected), he wouldn't have admitted to shooting the bb's out the window. Of course, if the legal drinking age had been 18, this wouldn't have happened because he'd have been so much more mature. We all know how this will turn out. He's an athlete. In house punishment. 'Nuff said.

lionheart72661 9 years, 9 months ago

Overreacting i don't think so. Nerd nope I was an athlete in school too. Just tired of seeing people getting away with things just because of athletics. I;m also sure the lady wasn't overreacting when out of nowhere she's shot with a pellet. So maybe you should sit and think for a minute packs what if it was you that got shot? How would you have reacted? Would have been a whole other issue if it would have taken out an eye. The main problem here that you obviously are not seeing is how so many athletes college and pro get away with crimes because of who they are.

packs_of_wild_dogzz 9 years, 9 months ago

She was shot with a plastic bb from a plastic gun....and her eye wasn't put out. I'm not saying i agree with what he did but suggesting he should be kicked out of school, or put in jail, or the gas chamber is overreacting. He's an 17-18 year old kid who made a bad decision, luckily nobody was seriously injured or killed. Hopefully he learned something from it.

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