Archive for Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jurors in U.S. Highway 59 murder trial have questions for court

September 9, 2008, 11:50 a.m. Updated September 9, 2008, 12:03 p.m.


Ramona Morgan found guilty

Ramona Morgan was found guilty of killing two men and injuring a third when she drove her truck through a construction zone on U.S. Highway 59 south of Lawrence on Sept. 11, 2007.

Jurors deliberating the fate of a woman accused in a fatal 2007 Douglas County hit-and-run have asked the judge another question at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.

District Judge Paula Martin met with attorneys in her chambers for a few minutes, and Martin then emerged from her chambers and took a piece of paper into the jury room at 11:25 a.m.

At 11:30 a.m., prosecutors were also preparing a projector to replay video evidence.

Ramona Morgan, 49, is accused of striking and killing construction workers Tyrone Korte, 30, an inspector for the Kansas Department of Transportation from Seneca, and Rolland Griffith, 24, a construction worker for Dustrol Inc. from El Dorado, on U.S. Highway 59 near Pleasant Grove.

Jurors again asked to view a video of television reporters asking questions from Sept. 12, 2007, when Ramona and Sabrina Morgan, Ramona's daughter, were walking into Osage County's courthouse for a first appearance. As they were being escorted in orange jail jumpsuits, Ramona Morgan says she struck metal barricades and that "people" did not cause damage to her truck.

"I did not run anybody over. Those were metal barricades, and you can go look at my vehicle and see the damage. Those were metal barricades," Ramona Morgan said.

She also says they were being set up and people were trying to kill them.

"This is what this it's about," Ramona Morgan said on the video.

Jurors returned to the deliberation room at 11:50 a.m.

The jury of eight women and four men began a second day of deliberation at 9 a.m. Tuesday by hearing a court reporter - for more than an hour - read back the defendant's testimony from Friday. From the stand, Morgan, 49, of Chewelah, Wash., had said she believed people were chasing her and trying to attack her. Morgan has also said she didn't believe she struck any people.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours Monday afternoon, and they also asked for court reporters to read back testimony from construction zone witnesses.

Morgan faces two reckless second-degree murder charges. She also faces an aggravated battery charge for injuring a third worker, Curtis Delzell, a Dustrol Inc. construction worker.

Jurors have the option of convicting Morgan of lesser charges: Involuntary manslaughter or vehicular homicide, which is a misdemeanor.


termtech215 9 years, 8 months ago

Good question vhawk. Regardless of what was running through her mind, there is no doubt that she hit the men, which resulted in their death.

vhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

and if she didn't hit the workers, why was one of their cellphones stuck in the grill of her truck?

Meryl Carver 9 years, 8 months ago

I think it's interesting that this article and this one ( ) are both in the paper today.

dweezil222 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't know for sure if Kansas allows it, but some states permit jurors to consider both a murder charge and a lesser manslaughter charge simultaneously, enabling them to find sufficient guilt for the lesser where they may not find sufficient evidence for murder. If Kansas permits that practice, my guess would be they're asking questions relevant to determining which of those charges is appropriate.

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 8 months ago

dweezil222I believe the jurors actually have a choice between three different charges in this case...

ModerateOne 9 years, 8 months ago

Of course she killed them. She does not dispute this now.But the law says the jury has to decide what was going through her mind when she killed them. Was she being depraved and callous while knowing that she was likely to kill them, or was she simply being stupid and negligent? That is what the jury must decide.

dweezil222 9 years, 8 months ago

Vehicular homicide is only a misdemeanor?

sharper 9 years, 8 months ago

I know... I keep checking for updates while at work (I'm a super employee today). I drive by the spot every week where those two men were killed on my way down to Baldwin. I don't think anyone has forgotten what a tragedy this was for their families. It must have been such a terrible week for them. Between hearing all the testimony, and that woman's moronic insistence that she hit barrels, I can't imagine what they've been going through. I hope they all know that the community is thinking of them and hoping for a just outcome.

termtech215 9 years, 8 months ago

If she did not hit the workers, then how did they die?

IceBlue 9 years, 8 months ago

Inconsistency?'Before a packed courtroom, she insisted that she struck orange-and-gray construction barrels and said people were chasing her and trying to kill her while driving south on U.S. Highway 59 near Pleasant Grove that day.'Yet shortly after her arrest, with the details fresh in her mind, she tells the cameras: "I did not run anybody over. Those were metal barricades, and you can go look at my vehicle and see the damage. Those were metal barricades," Ramona Morgan said.

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 8 months ago

the choices of charges for the jurors are:reckless second-degree murderinvoluntary manslaughter vehicular homicide (which is a misdemeanor)

sharper 9 years, 8 months ago

Isense:This trial lasted a week, right? That means there's a lot of evidence for them to review. They didn't have a lot of time to deliberate yesterday. I trust that they're back in that little room trying to do the job that they were chosen to do. I also believe that they'll come back with 2nd degree reckless murder convictions, but I'd hate to be proven wrong.

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