EVANSVILLE — A plea agreement filed Monday in Vanderburgh County Circuit Court by Special Prosecutor Stan Levco in the State of Indiana vs Ronald W. Morgan outlines terms of the agreement and Morgan’s rights under those terms.
The agreement is for a plea of guilty to one count of ghost employment, a Class D felony. Morgan’s attorney, John A. Goodridge of Evansville, provided the Times Herald with information for that charge and with a copy of the plea agreement. The information states: “That between November 1, 2009, and August 31, 2011, in Daviess County, State of Indiana, Ronald W. Morgan, a public servant employed by a governmental entity, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, knowingly accepted property, to-wit: United States currency in the form of a salary for the performance of his duties as Chief Deputy Sheriff of Daviess County, while engaging in activity not related to the performance of his duties or the operation of the governmental entity, to-wit: Ronald W. Morgan, between November 1, 2009, and August 31, 2011, while on duty and in uniform repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with a female, T.J.”
Morgan originally was indicted by a grand jury in October 2011 for bribery and assisting a criminal, both Class C felonies, while employed by the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. The bribery indictment states he “... solicited and/or accepted property from Janessa Edwards-McCracken in exchange for information to avoid prosecution for dealing in methamphetamine and/or possession of methamphetamine.” The indictment for assisting a criminal states “... Ronald W. Morgan did provide information to Janessa Edwards-McCracken so that Janessa Edwards-McCracken could avoid prosecution for dealing in methamphetamine, a Class A felony.”
A Tuesday Times Herald story stated: “The agreement charges Morgan with one count of ghost employment — accepting a salary from the sheriff’s department while engaged in activities not related to performance of his duties, sexual activity with the female suspect — between Nov. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, 2011.” But Goodridge emphasized in a phone call that the female, “T.J.,” referred to in the ghost employment charge is not the same female referred to in the original charges, Janessa Edwards-McCracken, and “T.J.” is not a suspect in any criminal activity.
Morgan appeared in person, with Goodridge, for the plea hearing Monday and was advised by Judge Carl Heldt that the judge will review the plea agreement and a pre-sentence report and either accept or reject the plea agreement. Morgan was advised of his rights and acknowledged that he understood and waived his rights.
The former chief deputy withdrew his not-guilty plea to the original charges and voluntarily entered a guilty plea to the ghost employment charge. According to the plea agreement, he may argue treatment as a Class A misdemeanor, and the court is free to impose any sentence allowable by law. If the judge accepts the plea agreement, the other charges will be dismissed.
“The defendant further states that he understands the penalties for each of the crimes set forth in the information or indictment and has had explained to his satisfaction, the maximum and minimum sentence ...,” according to the plea agreement.
If convicted of ghost employment under the plea agreement, Morgan could face six months to three years incarceration and up to a $10,000 fine. If treated as a Class A misdemeanor, incarceration could be 0-12 months with a possible $5,000 fine, according to Indiana Criminal Code. The original Class C felonies each carried a term of two to eight years incarceration and possible fine up to $10,000.
Sentencing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 20.
- Local News
- New attention on sex assaults Youth sexual assault in Indiana is a troubling issue that has not received the attention it deserves. That's about to change, thanks to the persistent efforts of Indianapolis Democrat state Rep. Christina Hale and a willing Legislature. The Indiana H
- Haitian students enrolling at Washington schools Mcduffy Agledor loves his new school. He has adjusted well from his school in Miami. He has friends, walks the hall and has even joined a club. What makes this amazing is that Agledor is originally from Haiti and has only been speaking English for a
- Different strokes for schools to make up days lost to snow All of the school systems in Daviess County had snow days built into their school calendars when the year began, but a cold and snowy winter has all of them trying to make days up. Earlier this year the Indiana Department of Education gave waivers f
- Marriage Licenses John Lee Herschberger, 20, Montgomery, and Donetta Sue Raber, 22, Montgomery. Charles Lewis Jones Jr., 33, Plainville, and Amber Melody Meyer, 34, Plainville. Eli Garrick Dayton, 23, Washington, and Katrina Dawn Kemp, 20, Washington. Todd Lee Chamber
- Purdue webinar discusses personal property tax bills Purdue University Professor of Agriculture Economics Larry DeBoer shed some light on the proposed personal property tax elimination bills that are currently in the Indiana House and Senate Friday during the On Local Government program, a part of Purd
- Community Calendar SUNDAY Alcoholics Anonymous, 8 p.m., Central Christian Church, 10 W. Van Trees St Lighthouse Evangelistic Services, 9:15 a.m., Harvest Community Fellowship, 200 W. Main St. Lighthouse Addiction/Recovery Worship Services, noon and 7 p.m., Victory Tabe
- 5th generation of Williams joins Williams Bros. Clay Williams is the son of C.C. and Pam Williams. He is now the fifth generation of pharmacists in the Williams family, dating back to his great-great-grandfather C.C. Williams, who started his pharmacy career in the late 1890s. Growing up with a hi
- Patton to join staff at DCH Daviess Community Hospital is pleased to announce that R. Michael Patton, MD, has joined the staff of Daviess Community Hospital as an interim general surgeon. Dr. Patton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with bachelor's degrees in b
- Time change puts kids back in the dark This weekend is the one for the time change. Daylight Saving Time goes into effect on Sunday at 2 a.m. and that means everyone will be moving their clocks forward one hour. For schools trying to get the most out of their school days that is going to
- No Headline Provided Austin Wagler Feb. 17, 2014 Martin and Lena Wagler of Odon announce the birth of their son, Austin Martin Wagler. He was born at 4:08 p.m. Feb. 17 at Daviess Community Hospital. He weighed 8 lbs., 1 oz. and was 22 inches long. He is welcomed by Anna
- More Local News Headlines