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Posted: Friday, 13 September 2013 4:50PM

Morris Convicted of Wanton Murder in 3 Year Old's Death



After hearing three and half days of testimony, the jury in the murder case against Charles Morris found him guilty of wanton murder and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. The death of Alayna Adair was sad and tragic--blunt force trauma to the head was listed as the official cause of death, but doctors say there is no way slipping in the bathtub could have cause that extent of trauma Adair suffered.


   


Commonwealth's Attorney Lynn Pryor says a history of abuse is evident when looking at Adair's medical history and during her closing arguments, she theorizes a visit to the doctors on June 23, 2010 could have saved Adair's life, if not for Morris.


   
Morris' attorney, Brandi McEldowney says he took care of Adair and was a loving father, who did everything he could to make sure she got the medical attention she needed that day, July 2, 2011.



She even called into question testimony of his friends, Chris and Jennifer Lambert, who he lived with for much of the first year he had Adair.



   

McEldowney argued that the Commonwealth failed to prove Morris killed his daughter.


   
And Pryor agreed, at least in part, but she says there was no one else who was caring for her during those last few days.


 
Despite arguments from McEldowney and the witnesses called by the defense, the seven man, five woman jury found Morris guilty of wanton murder. Wanton murder is an act defined by the justice system as "when a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists, the risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation of the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation."



The jury found Morris not guilty of intentional murder, choosing the lesser of the two murder charges available to them. The jury could have also found him guilty of 1st degree manslaughter, 2nd degree manslaughter, or reckless homicide. Just before 12:50pm, the jury received the case from Christian Circuit Judge Andrew Self, following the closing remarks. The jury returned with a verdict just after 2:00pm. The jury returned with a verdict just after 2:00pm. Morris' official sentencing was set for October 30th.

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