Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hearing set in U.S. 59 fatalities

January 24, 2008

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 1 for a woman charged with leading police on a car chase following a fatal hit-and-run incident last year south of Lawrence.

Ramona Morgan, 48, the suspect in two highway workers' deaths in Douglas County, is charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police and reckless driving in Osage County. She also faces several other traffic violations.

Morgan appeared in Osage County District Court on Thursday with her new attorney, William Rork, of Topeka. Rork attempted to get Morgan's bond reduced for a third time. Magistrate Jon Stephen Jones rejected the request, noting that he already had reduced it twice.

Morgan, who was arrested Sept. 11, initially was held on $2 million bond. Jones later reduced it to $1 million and then to $100,000. Morgan remained in Osage County Jail as of Thursday night.

Morgan was arrested Sept. 11, 2007, after a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper spotted a pickup truck matching the description of a truck that had hit two workers on U.S. Highway 59 near Pleasant Grove. The trooper pursued the truck west on U.S. Highway 56. The truck stopped only after two of its tires were flattened by spiked sticks thrown on the highway by other officers.

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for a judge to determine whether enough evidence exists to order a trial for a suspect.

Morgan has been charged in Douglas County with two counts of reckless second-degree murder. That case is pending until the Osage County case is completed.

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