Dad guilty of murder in tot's creek-tossing death - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Dad guilty of murder in tot's creek-tossing death

Posted: Updated:

By WAYNE PARRY

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) -- A man who tossed his 2-year-old daughter into a creek while she was still strapped into her car seat was convicted Thursday of knowing or purposeful murder and could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Jurors found Arthur Morgan III guilty of killing Tierra Morgan-Glover, whose body was pulled from a creek in a park near the Jersey shore in November 2011. They also found him guilty of child endangerment and interference with custody.

Prosecutors had said he killed Tierra to get back at her mother for breaking off their engagement. They said he weighed down her pink car seat with a tire jack. Her body was pulled from a creek in a park in Wall Township, about 20 miles from her Lakehurst home, with one tiny black and purple sneaker sticking out of the water.

Morgan, 29, of Eatontown, could be ordered to spend the rest of his life behind bars when he is sentenced May 28.

Defense lawyers had asked the jury to convict Morgan of reckless manslaughter, which could have seen him freed in as little as five years.

Morgan's state of mind the day of his daughter's death was a key part of the case. In his opening statement, defense attorney Ryan Moriarty indicated Morgan would not deny responsibility for Tierra's death but told jurors their task was to decide "what form of homicide applies to this defendant."

After the child's death, Morgan fled to California and was arrested several days later in San Diego, with a newspaper account of the killing in his pocket.

The Monmouth County medical examiner said the toddler died from "homicidal violence, including submersion in water." He said the girl may have been conscious for three minutes after starting to breathe in water and could have remained alive for nearly five minutes after that.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Coghlan told the jury in his closing argument Tuesday that Morgan believed Tierra's mother's family wasn't raising her properly and that Morgan wasn't thinking clearly at the time Tierra died.

On Wednesday, jurors asked the judge for a second glimpse of Morgan's video statement to police in San Diego. In the video, a detective asked Morgan if he said anything to his daughter before leaving her to die in the creek.

"I told her I loved her, and I gave her a kiss," Morgan replied.

"Did you say a prayer for her?" the detective asked.

"Every day," Morgan answered.

Morgan insisted his daughter was not dead when he left the area.

"I still heard some noises," he said. "I heard her. She sounded like she was crying."

He said he drove away and never returned.

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey detective acquitted in Maryland highway shooting

    NJ detective acquitted in Md. highway shooting

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:16:51 GMT
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
  • Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:31:08 GMT
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.

  • Fence aims to curb near-record GWB suicides

    Fence aims to curb near-record GWB suicides

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:54:11 GMT
    George Washington Bridge (file photo)George Washington Bridge (file photo)
    Officials plan to build a fence to curb suicides on the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says there have been 13 suicides and 40 rescues on the span so far this year. There were 16 deaths for all of 2013. Plans call for erecting a 9-foot fence to replace the current railing to make jumping from the bridge difficult.
    Officials plan to build a fence to curb suicides on the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says there have been 13 suicides and 40 rescues on the span so far this year. There were 16 deaths for all of 2013. Plans call for erecting a 9-foot fence to replace the current railing to make jumping from the bridge difficult.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices