Monday, June 18, 2012

Dad indicted on 1st-degree murder and custodial interference charges; allegedly threw girl off bridge during his visitation time (Freehold, New Jersey)

We've followed the case of dad ARTHUR E. MORGAN III since it first broke last fall. What is left out here (as is typical) is the whole back story: how this man with a history of domestic violence got visitation with this child over the mother's protests. See our previous posts.

Indicted Father Faces Life Without Parole for Murder of 2-Year Old Daughter

Written by MC Prosecutor's Office

Monday, 18 June 2012 10:15

FREEHOLD, NJ - A Monmouth County Grand Jury returned a three-count Indictment today against Arthur E. Morgan 3rd, 27, with a last known address in Eatontown, for his actions that led to the death of his daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover, Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, Jr.announced. Morgan was charged with third-degree interference with custody, second degree endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree murder.

Arthur E. Morgan, III is indicted for murder of 2-year old Tierra Morgan-Glover.

The charges stem from a joint investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and several other law enforcement entities after a group of teenagers discovered the body of a young child in the Wall section of Shark River Park on November 22, 2011. Upon arrival, law enforcement officers located a female toddler, fully clothed and strapped into a car seat, submerged in a stream below an overpass located on Schoolhouse Road. The child was later identified as 2-year old Tierra Morgan-Glover of Lakehurst who had been reported missing the night before.

An examination conducted by the medical examiner concluded the manner of death as homicide and the cause of death as homicidal violence, including submersion in water. These findings indicate that Tierra was alive when she was cast into the water whilestrapped in her car seat.

The case commenced after a missing persons report was filed by Tierra’s mother. On November 21, 2011, Morgan had taken Tierra out for a few hours, as agreed upon by the two parents. After Morgan failed to return Tierra to her mother at their home in Lakehurst at the agreed upon time, and after hours of trying to reach Morgan, Tierra’smother contacted the Lakehurst Police who, in turn, notified the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Both agencies, with the assistance of the Ocean Township (Monmouth) Police Department, conducted an intensive search for Tierra. Investigators ultimately determined that Morgan had killed his daughter after Tierra’s body was discovered the following day, November 22, 2011, and that Morgan had fled the area by taking a train from Asbury Park en route to Newark.

When Tierra’s body was pulled from the water, the Office’s Major Crimes andForensic and Technical Services units, along with Wall Township Police Department,commenced a cooperative investigation into the homicide. Thereafter, a murder complaint was issued on November 23, 2011 and a nationwide manhunt was undertaken to apprehend Morgan. An active search, led by the United States Marshal’s Service and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, was undertaken with the assistance of several other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. On November 29, 2011, Morgan was apprehended by the Marshal’s Service in San Diego, California. Morgan waived extradition and was returned to Monmouth County to face charges. He remains incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $10 million bail set by the Honorable Lawrence M. Lawson, A.J.S.C., and $200,000 from the Ocean County charges set by the Honorable Francis Hodgson, J.S.C. These charges have been consolidated for prosecution in Monmouth County.

If convicted of the interference with custody charge, Morgan faces a maximum of 5years in prison. If convicted of the endangering the welfare of a child charge, Morgan faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. If convicted of the murder charge, Morgan faces a minimum of 30 years in prison without parole and, since an aggravating factor was found to exist by the grand jury - that the victim was less than 14 years’ old at the time Morgan killed her - Morgan faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Prosecutor Warshaw thanked the following law enforcement organizations for their assistance in the investigation: the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Port Authority for New York & New Jersey Police, the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Transit Police, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and the Lakehurst, Wall Township, Ocean Township, Neptune Township and San Diego Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Richard Incremona for prosecution. Jeffrey Coghlan, Esq. is counsel for Morgan.