Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dad on trial for murder of 2-year-old daughter during visitation (Freehold, New Jersey)

More from the murder trial of dad ARTHUR MORGAN III. We have covered this case extensively since 2011.

Arthur Morgan trial: Stream where daughter Tierra died was almost two feet deep

Mar. 27, 2014 11:47 AM
Written by Kathleen Hopkins

FREEHOLD — The depth of a stream in Shark River Park where 2½-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover’s body was found strapped in her car seat on Nov. 22, 2011, was almost two feet, a Monmouth County land surveyor told a jury on Thursday.

Steve Edwards, a land surveyor employed by Monmouth County’s engineering department, told the jury weighing a murder charge against Tierra’s father, Arthur Morgan III, that he was called upon by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office to take measurements of the area in Shark River Park in Wall where Tierra’s body was found, and that he went there on three occasions with a partner to do so.

On Dec. 1, 2011, he went into the stream, wearing waders up to his chest, to take measurements at various locations. Viewing photographs taken that day, First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Marc LeMieux asked the witness how high the water appeared in the picture depicting the spot in the stream where Tierra was found.

“It appears to be about knee level,” Edwards responded.

Edwards also testified that the overall drop from a retaining wall on the embankment to the stream is 12 feet and not easily traversed.

“It was a little sketchy,” he said, responding to a question from Deputy Assistant Public Defender Ryan Moriarty.

But responding to further questions from Moriarty, Edwards acknowledged he was able to make it down the embankment while carrying equipment.

Prosecutors allege that Morgan strapped Tierra in her car seat, weighed it down by attaching a metal car jack to it and then threw the contraption from a bridge on Schoolhouse Road in the park into the stream, after picking the child up from her mother in Lakehurst on Nov. 21, 2011. Public defenders claim that Morgan walked down the embankment with Tierra in the car seat and merely placed her in the stream to let God decide her fate.

Morgan, 29, who was homeless but whose last known address was in Eatontown, is on trial before Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr.