The Washington Times-Herald

Breaking News

Local News

October 11, 2012

Morgan plea agreement filed

EVANSVILLE —

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.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Man killed in motorcycle crash south of Monroe City

    A  Vincennes man died in a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon south of Monroe City.

    April 19, 2014

  • Horoscope HAPPY BIRTHDAY for Sunday, April 20, 2014: This year you often put in extraordinary effort to make your dreams a reality. The toll that these efforts take on you could be high. You love living life to the fullest when you feel like you're 100 perc

    April 19, 2014

  • Property taxes, short term loan discussed at B-R school meeting

    MONTGOMERY -- The Barr-Reeve School Board meeting was opened for comments Thursday from school patrons and Lana Helms asked about the increase in the property tax statement that she recently received. Helms said it was about a considerable increase.

    April 19, 2014

  • Saturday's police report CITY REPORT Friday 12:57 p.m. - A male caller said he witnessed, while playing golf, a red Jeep strike a sign and a telephone pole at the intersection of Northeast 12th Street and Brett Cabel Road. A stop sign was damaged, but the Jeep was not found.

    April 19, 2014

  • Griffith50 Griffith Elementary turns 50 Helen Griffith Elementary is celebrating a milestone as the school turns 50-years old. Earlier this week, current students and staff at the school met on the playground for a photo to commemorate the anniversary. Students sat in the formation of th

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • TaylirAnn.jpg No Headline Provided Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Taylor will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary today. Kenny Taylor and Ruth Lengacher were married April 19, 1969. The couple has one daughter, Sheila and Spencer Gingerich of Montgomery, and one son, Mark Taylor of L

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • frocks 'Forget the Frock' is a T-shirt with a real message New frilly dresses and tailored suits for Easter have been a tradition for many years, but a relatively new movement across the United States is changing that tradition for some local community members, as well as others across the country. "Forget

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Washington school transportation funding takes another hit The wheels on the buses are still going round and round for the Washington Community Schools, but the funding to keep them rolling all through the town is dwindling. The loss of tax revenue has caused the school board to look into funds other than th

    April 18, 2014

  • citytowergraphic.jpg High but not dry

    The city of Washington is constructing a 600,000-gallon water tower east of the city. Here's some information supplied by the city on the new tower.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - WT041814 - CoatsMug - NBS GOP set for Lincoln-Reagan Day celebration U.S. Sen. Dan Coats will be the featured speaker at the annual Daviess County Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner. The dinner is set for April 22 at the Padaco event center. "Senator Coats is always a big draw at Lincoln Day dinners across the state and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo