Friday, December 2, 2011

Dad charged with murdering 2-year-old daughter during court-ordered visitation faces "imminent" extradition (San Diego, California)

More on dad ARTHUR FREEMAN III. A classic example of a father who NEVER should have been granted any visitation/custodial rights--but was indulged by the authorities anyway. They totally ignored his history of domestic violence and child abuse....

N.J. father charged with murder of Ocean County toddler facing 'imminent' extradition to Garden State
Published: Friday, December 02, 2011, 8:00 AM
By Bob Considine/The Star-Ledger The Star-Ledger

SAN DIEGO — Arthur Morgan III’s return to New Jersey to face murder charges in the death of his daughter, Tierra Morgan-Glover, is "imminent," authorities said Thursday.

Morgan, 27, appeared briefly before Superior Court Judge David M. Szumowski in San Diego Thursday morning. Wearing a navy blue prison suit from the San Diego County correctional system and little expression, Morgan signed papers waiving his right to contest extradition.

Szumowski directed New Jersey authorities to transport Morgan back to New Jersey by Dec. 21. Tanya Sierra, a spokesperson for the San Diego District Attorney’s office anticipated that Morgan would return to New Jersey "much sooner."

If Morgan challenged the extradition, his return to New Jersey could have been delayed by as much as 120 days.

First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni would not outline a timeline for Morgan’s return, due to security reasons, but said it was "imminent." An initial court appearance in Monmouth County will be scheduled upon his return, Gramiccioni said.

On Wednesday, state Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson set a $10 million, cash-only bail on Morgan upon his return to New Jersey.

Morgan is accused of killing his daughter on Nov. 21 after picking her up from her mother, Imani Benton, of Lakehurst, for a court-approved visitation. When he did not return the toddler that night, Benton called police.

After a week-long manhunt that landed him on the website, "America’s Most Wanted," Morgan was captured Tuesday when he was found at a friend’s home in San Diego, said Steve Jurman, supervising deputy of the U.S. Marshals Service in San Diego.

In addition to the murder charges brought by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on Nov. 23, Morgan also faces interstate flight and child-custody offenses.

Allison Blake, commissioner of the state Department of Children and Families, said the state agency had opened an investigation of the Morgan-Benton pairing after Benton accused of Morgan of abuse in 2010. Under the guidelines for domestic violence cases adopted by the Division of Youth and Family Services in 2009, the agency could not determine abuse or neglect was occurring.
Benton’s family has accused the agency of not doing enough to prevent the 2-year-old’s death. Blake says her agency will now review some of its guidelines in the wake of Morgan-Glover’s death.