PRINCETON — Gibson County Clerk Jim Morrow appeared in Vanderburgh County Superior Court Wednesday morning for an initial hearing on three felony weapons charges filed against him in Gibson County.
Morrow, 54, appeared before Vanderburgh Superior Court Magistrate Jill Marcrum, pleading not guilty to two level 6 felony counts of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and one level 6 felony count of pointing a firearm at another person.
The charges each carry a penalty of 6 months to 2.5 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. Morrow was represented by Lousiville, Kentucky-based attorney Patrick Renn.
Special Prosecutor Darrin McDonald of Pike County filed the charges after reviewing an investigation by the Princeton Police Department into an incident near the Sam-Mart convenience store property in Princeton April 30.
McDonald said the state has passed discovery on to the defense and could work with the court's schedule to find a date for the next hearing. The state has also filed a motion for a change of venue due to Morrow's position as a local government official in Gibson County.
The defense will offer its thoughts on the motion at the next hearing at 8 a.m. July 3 in Vanderburgh County Superior Court.
The charges stem from a April 30 incident in which Andrew Ellis reported to authorities that Morrow pulled a gun on him and poked him in the neck with the weapon after a verbal confrontation at the convenience store.
The affidavit of probable cause in the case, compiled by Princeton Police Detective Mike Hurt, states Charles Robinson was also interviewed and said he witnessed Morrow pull the weapon and point it, and saw Morrow charge Ellis while pointing the pistol at Ellis.
Hurt interviewed Kayli C. Young, who recorded the incident on her phone. In the affidavit, Hurt reported that Young said her two small children were in the back seat of the vehicle when Morrow was pointing the gun at Ellis, and she said Ellis had his hands up and was facing the vehicle while Morrow put the gun in Ellis’ back.
According to the affidavit, Hurt watched the video and saw an argument between Ellis and Morrow as Morrow walked out of the store, and Morrow walked away, but came back toward Ellis, charging with his pistol pointed at Ellis. Hurt reported the video shows Ellis telling Morrow several times to stop and Ellis putting his hands up. “Morrow then appears to put the gun in the back of Ellis,” he reported in the statement.
“The video clearly shows Morrow as the aggressor,” Hurt wrote.
The detective reported in the affidavit that he also recovered a phone call Morrow made to the Gibson County Jail reporting his version of the incident. In that call, Morrow admitted to pulling a gun but said Ellis was the aggressor.
Hurt’s affidavit says Morrow’s version of the incident doesn’t match the video, and he contacted Morrow to come in for an interview, but Morrow declined.