Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bond reduced for passenger in hit-and-run fatalities

September 20, 2007

LYNDON -- Bond was reduced Thursday morning for a woman said to be a passenger in a truck involved in a high-speed chase following a fatal hit-and-run last week.

Sabrina J. Morgan, 26, who is charged with aiding a felon in that chase, saw her bond reduced from $1 million to $100,000 during a hearing in Osage County District Court.

The reduction came at the request of her attorney, Greg Robinson of Lawrence, whom Sabrina Morgan had hired. He said Osage County officials appeared to be holding her in an effort to buy time for Douglas County authorities to bring charges in the double fatality. He added that she was not a flight risk.

"I think the crux of this is to wait for (Douglas County Dist. Atty. Charles) Branson to have more time," Robinson said.

He requested a preliminary hearing in the chase case as soon as possible; the judge scheduled it for 3 p.m. Sept. 26.

Robinson said that Ramona I. Morgan, 48, the accused driver, is still seeking to hire her own attorney. A status hearing on Ramona Morgan's case was scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 27; her bond remains set at $2 million.

Ramona Morgan was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, which is a felony, and misdemeanor traffic charges that include reckless driving, speeding, not using a turn signal, and failure to maintain a single lane.

The charges stem from the Sept. 11 double fatality.

Charges in Douglas County are pending as an investigation continues into the hit-and-run deaths of Tyrone T. Korte, 30, of Seneca, a Kansas Department of Transportation employee, and Rolland "Ron" Griffith, 24, of El Dorado, a worker with Dustrol Inc., a highway construction contractor in Towanda. They were killed when they were hit by a truck that was driven through a work zone on U.S. Highway 59 at Pleasant Grove, 4 miles south of Lawrence. Both workers were wearing orange vests.

A second Dustrol worker, Amanda Hopper, 21, also of El Dorado, was injured. She was flagging traffic at the north end of the construction zone when the truck drove by and struck her, according to the Highway Patrol. She was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released.

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