A Jefferson County Court jury determined Friday that a Sackets Harbor man tried to kill his wife by shooting her twice in 2010.
A jury deliberated for about 45 minutes before finding Darron S. Morris, 43, guilty of second-degree attempted murder and three other counts for shooting his wife, Sherry L., with a pistol Aug. 4, 2010, during a domestic dispute at their Madison Barracks apartment. Mr. Morris also threatened police as they rescued his wife and then engaged in a five-hour standoff with police, at some point shooting himself in the head.
A wheelchair-bound Mrs. Morris testified Friday that she was face to face with her husband at the time of the shooting and there is no question at all that he was the one who shot her.
Darron Morris shot me, Mrs. Morris said.
Mrs. Morris conceded that her husband was upset with her because he had found her earlier in the night having sex with a stranger in a back room at the Sackets Harbor American Legion. She claims that as they left the Legion on foot, Mr. Morris said, I should kill you.
She testified that she returned home first and, after posting news of her appointment to the Sackets Harbor Volunteer Fire Department on Facebook, went to bed.
I went to bed and the next thing I remember is the light going on and Darron was standing in the bedroom in front of the closet loading his gun, Mrs. Morris said.
She said she ran from the room and to the entrance of their apartment, stopping to face Mr. Morris, telling him she was prepared to call police. She said that at the time, the couple thought there was an arrest warrant for Mr. Morris from Pennsylvania, where they formerly lived.
I threatened him that I would call the police and tell them about the warrant, but he shot me in the stomach, she said. I said, I cant believe you shot me.
Mrs. Morris suffered spinal injuries and is paralyzed from the chest down. In his closing statement, Senior Assistant District Attorney Aaron D. Carr told the jury that Mrs. Morriss unfaithfulness did not warrant her shooting.
The price she has paid far exceeds anything infidelity merits, he said. She is paying her penalty every day.
Mr. Morriss defense attorney, Eric T. Swartz, Watertown, told the jury that evidence produced at trial could not rule out a third person being present at the time of the shooting. Several officers who responded testified that they saw, or believed they saw, Mr. Morris wielding a long gun, but no rifle was ever recovered. Mr. Swartz contended in his closing statement that there may have been someone other than Mr. Morris in the apartment with a rifle and that this person may have sneaked away from the scene after shooting the Morrises.
However, officers also testified that the apartment was surrounded by law enforcement and that no one could have entered or left unobserved. A long, dark, cylindrical curtain rod and a walking stick found in the apartment were entered into evidence and some officers said they could have mistaken the items for a gun.
Mr. Carr said after the verdict that he will ask for the maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison on the attempted-murder conviction and a five-year consecutive sentence on a first-degree criminal use of a firearm conviction when Mr. Morris is sentenced Sept. 17.
He has shown no remorse, Mr. Carr said. If he were to get out today, hed do the exact same thing.
Mr. Swartz said Mr. Morris maintains his innocence and will appeal.
He was expecting to be totally cleared, Mr. Swartz said. He believed there was no evidence.