Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Suspense Builds As Court Date Approaches

Police have no way of knowing he's wanted - NCIC has no info

Technically, Benjamin Alan Morrison is a wanted man.

The Grand Jury indicted him on 8 counts of aggravated sexual
assault of a female child younger than 14 on August 4.

There is an additional single count of ongoing sexual abuseof a child. The rapacious activity allegedly
continued fromthe time the girl was 8 until some time prior to his arrest
in February of this year.

He has a prior arrest record for injury to a child.

The aggravated sexual assault charges involve penetration of
the child's body with the defendant's penis. A conviction
for any of the counts could result in a life sentence.

His bond has been reset from a personal recognizance status
in which he promised to accept a lien of $100,000 levied
against his properties and chattels if he failed to show up
on August 20. Following his indictment, he is now wanted on
a $450,000 surety bond.

State 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother freed Mr.
Morrison on June 1 following an application for a writ of
habeas corpus and a motion for his release due to delay in
prosecution. The District Attorney had failed to obtain an
indictment within the prescribed 90 days of the date police
arrested him and the Jail Magistrate charged him.

He is still at large, a wanted man.

Police officers outside of McLennan County have no way of
knowing that because of a glitch in the NCIC-TCIC crime
information computer system, according to the Sheriff's
Department Records Division Supervisor, Tamma Willis.

Two local policeman who are Legendary sources of information
have stated that their computer terminals do not show that
Mr. Morrison is wanted. They are both patrol officers for
police departments located inside McLennan County.

According to Ms. Willis, there is no way the database will
accept an entry for an indicted suspect whose bond has been
reset. The only way an entry may be made is if the suspect
has absconded by not showing up for court on the appointed
date of arraignment or trial.

Mr. Morrison was originally held on $500,000 bond. Indigent,
according to Court records, he was unable to place the bond
fee required for such a high bond, and his attorney moved
the Court to either lower the amount of bond or allow his
release on a personal recognizance backed by the certainty
that a lien would be plaed against his property should he
fail to show up.

Judge Stother chose to release him on personal recognizance,
an election which requires no cash need change hands.

Those who are free on bond are required to check in with
their bondsman on a routine basis. Since Mr. Morrison has
no bondsman, he has been required to check in with the

According to 19th District Court Administrator Joyce Smith,
he has made no such appearance, nor has he contacted the
Court since his release on June 1.

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