Morris case in the courts now
- Jim Redden
- Portland Tribune - News
Arraignment set for suspect in deaths of woman, three children
The future of Edward Paul Morris, who spent more than two weeks on the run, now will be determined by the predictable schedule of the Oregon criminal justice system.
'It's in the courts now,' said Tillamook County Sheriff Todd Anderson, who spearheaded the investigation.
Morris, who faces seven counts of murder involving the deaths of his wife and three children, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Tillamook County Circuit Court.
On Sunday, Morris was transported to the Tillamook County Jail from Baker City, where he was captured Saturday afternoon.
A grand jury eventually will be convened to decide whether to indict the North Portland resident on charges filed by the county's district attorney.
Morris, 37, allegedly killed his family Dec. 20 and left the bodies in the Tillamook State Forest. The next day, hunters found the body of Renee Morris, 31. They notified authorities, who found the nearby remains of Bryant, 10, Alexis, 8, and Jonathan, 4.
Anderson said Morris spent the night of Dec. 21 in a Motel 6 in The Dalles. Tillamook County filed charges against Morris on Dec. 23. Although tips placed Morris in Washington and Canada, Anderson said the fugitive never crossed the Northern Oregon border.
He was arrested without incident Saturday as he left a Rite Aid pharmacy in Baker City. Anderson said Morris was shopping for a rope but left without buying one. Anderson would not say why Morris wanted the rope.
Police have not recovered the weapon used in the crime.
Although Morris received considerable national attention during the past two weeks, he was captured after being spotted by someone from his St. Johns neighborhood. Linda Martin was returning from an Idaho trip with her brother, Thom, when she spotted Morris' gray Dodge van on Interstate 84 in Eastern Oregon.
Because she had followed the case closely, Martin immediately recognized the license plate from media coverage. Ironically, her grandson played on the same Portland soccer team as Bryant Morris.
The Martins were so confident the van belonged to Morris that they followed it for more than 20 minutes, stopping briefly to call the police before catching up with the vehicle outside the pharmacy in Baker City. Linda Martin even went into the store to keep an eye on Morris before police arrived.
Morris was arrested as he left the store.