Archive for Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hit-and-run suspect can be tried for murder

A woman accused of a fatal hit-and-run accident will stand trial on second degree murder charges.

June 4, 2008


A Douglas County judge on Tuesday ruled that a woman charged with driving into and killing two highway workers last year can be tried for murder.

Judge Paula Martin set a Sept. 2 trial date for Ramona I. Morgan.

During a preliminary hearing Monday, Morgan's attorney, Billy Rork, argued that evidence prosecutors presented did not meet the requirements of two counts of reckless second-degree murder. Martin said she reviewed case rulings cited by Rork and disagreed with him.

Martin said there was no doubt that a crime was committed and that the evidence warranted a trial. She said the crimes showed "an extreme indifference to human life."

Morgan was arrested Sept. 11, 2007, after a pickup truck twice drove through a restricted work site on U.S. Highway 59 near Pleasant Grove. During the second drive through, Rolland G. Griffith, 24, El Dorado, an employee with Dustrol Inc., and Tyrone T. Korte, 30, Seneca, who worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation, were killed.

Another Dustrol employee, Curtis Delzell, said he was struck on the left leg by the truck as he jumped out of its way seconds before Korte and Griffith were hit. Morgan is charged with reckless aggravated battery in that incident.

Morgan was later seen by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper and was stopped after a car chase in Osage County. A trooper testified that a KDOT cell phone issued to Korte was found lodged in the front of Morgan's heavily damaged truck.

The trial date is beyond the law's 90-day speedy trial deadline for someone who is in jail. Martin said the court's schedule and caseload didn't allow for meeting the deadline and that the law allows extra time to schedule a trial in those instances.

Morgan remains in the Douglas County Jail on $200,000 bond.


yellowhouse 10 years ago

I don't any longer believe everything that is put out in a press release, since I have been blatently lied about over and over! However in this case her story saying "something hit her truck" (that something just happened to be holding a big road sign!) And that she did not hit the victims they hit her was pretty hard to believe.I believe that the truth in our 3 year old case of injustice and lies by the Government will come out eventually.

Evan Ridenour 10 years ago

"HootyWho (Anonymous) says:This is a good case for the death penalty"She isn't charged with a capital crime so it actually isn't a good case for the death penalty...

domino 10 years ago

Thank you Judge Martin - the first step towards justice has been taken.

redwaggoner 10 years ago

As well she shoul be! The "cock & bull" story she gave about being chased by gangsters (across 2 states) is no excuse!!! If this was truly the case she could have stopped and called any law enforcement agency and gotten (psychiatric) help. Hope the jury nails her to the wall!

Evan Ridenour 10 years ago

"morganlefay (Anonymous) says: I agree with Hooty. She purposely ran those men over and she should get the death penalty. I'm so sick of the mental illness excuse. There is no excuse for what she did and she should be sent to burn in hell by someone running her over."Well thankfully your opinion doesn't matter. You have to be charged with capital murder in Kansas to even potentially recieve the death penalty. Below I quote the criteria that has to be met for the death sentence to be levied. You will notice that right off the bat you have to have committed pre-meditated first degree murder which obviously doesn't apply in this case. If it makes you feel like you are getting your dose of justice though just looking at the two counts of reckless second degree murder the judge could sentence her anywhere from 460 to 416 months according to the sentencing table... assuming conviction."The death penalty may only be given in circumstances where a defendant is convicted of pre-meditated first degree murder under the following limited factual circumstances: -during a kidnapping for ransom -during a killing committed under a contract or agreement -the killing of any person by someone confined in a state correctional institution, community correction institution or jail or while in official custody -a killing during the commission of, or attempt to commit, a rape or aggravated sodomy of any person -the killing of a law enforcement officer -the killing of more than one person as part of the same act or in two or more acts connected together -the killing of a child under age 14 during a kidnapping or aggravated kidnapping with the intent to commit a sex offense upon the child"

morganlefay 10 years ago

I agree with Hooty. She purposely ran those men over and she should get the death penalty. I'm so sick of the mental illness excuse. There is no excuse for what she did and she should be sent to burn in hell by someone running her over.

Tom McCune 10 years ago

Has she actually presented an insanity defense?

HootyWho 10 years ago

This is a good case for the death penalty

Jaylee 10 years ago

i would certainly disagree with the death penalty remark. this woman cleary has some hidden issues going on here that havent even really been investigated deep enough, namely the changing stories about what she was doing here, which could lead to an entirely seperate case.while i agree it may not be directly involved with the reasons she is being investigated, it may give some insight as to why she acted the way she has. feeling so enraged by a thrown coffee cup that one would turn around and run down some workers. then run from the police. then make up multiple different stories concerning her reasons for being there in the first place. then she was caught, not in douglas county, but osage? what in the hell was she doing in osage county?i dont know.... it seems that those who ask more questions should be more involved in the law, but few make it far. so i'll just make comments from the peanut gallery, but i really think more time should be invested into "what was she really doing and why was she here?"

gr 10 years ago

"She purposely ran those men over "Purposely or is it "an extreme indifference to human life"?

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