Archive for Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Driver charged with leading police chase says she was ‘really scared’

April 22, 2008

LYNDON - A woman charged with leading a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper on a high-speed chase after a double fatality hit-and-run incident last year said she thought someone was trying to kill her.

"I was really scared," Ramona I. Morgan, 48, said during her trial in Osage County District Court, where she is charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police, a felony, and traffic violations.

A jury will begin deliberations today on the charges.

Under questioning by her attorney, Billy Rork, Morgan said she and her daughter left their Washington state home and traveled to Lebanon, Mo., to look at property to buy. Morgan said she didn't make the purchase, and was followed by a caravan of vehicles and shot at.

That was on Sept. 10, 2007, the day before Trooper Todd Brooks used emergency lights and sirens to try to stop Morgan after he heard about the double fatality in Douglas County.

Morgan is charged in Douglas County with reckless second-degree murder in two highway workers' deaths on U.S. Highway 59 at Pleasant Grove.

She has yet to be tried.

A recording of Brooks' chase of Morgan's pickup on U.S. Highway 56 near Overbrook was played for the jury. The truck traveled up to 90 mph, Brooks said. The chase ended after spike sticks were used outside Scranton.

During the chase, Morgan's daughter, Sabrina Morgan, 26, a passenger, called 911 on a cell phone and repeatedly asked Osage County emergency dispatchers why she and her mother were being chased.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Sabrina Morgan said. "I'm not trying to hurt nobody. Are you going to kill us?"

At the end of the chase, Ramona Morgan asked whether they were going to be shot.

"We're not going to shoot you unless you have a weapon," Brooks said. Brooks testified he did have his gun drawn.

Sabrina Morgan is not charged in Osage or Douglas County.

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