Rutland man convicted of attempted murder

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — A Rutland area man was convicted on three felony charges, including attempted murder, on Monday evening concluding a three day jury trial.

Danny Morgan Sr., 53, was found guilty of attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault by a jury of six men and six women.

As each charge stemmed from the same act, the two felonious assault charges merged with the attempted murder charge for purposes of sentencing, with an 11 year maximum sentence possible.

The charges against Morgan were the result of a March 19, 2016, incident at a residence on Lasher Road in which he reportedly stabbed another man three times in the neck.

During testimony on Thursday, Friday and Monday, the prosecution and defense presented witnesses regarding varying versions of events from the early morning hours of March 19, 2016, which included three separate 911 calls made by Morgan to dispatchers.

In the initial call, Morgan reportedly told dispatch that he had allegedly been sexually assaulted sometime prior (a few weeks to a few months before) by the victim of the stabbing. The dispatcher reportedly told Morgan to make a report in the morning at the office once he had sobered up as it was not an active emergency situation. Morgan called back minutes later, reportedly telling the dispatcher that “I bet you would come if I killed him.”

Around 35 minutes after the second call, Morgan called back to report that he had killed the man.

The defense argued that Morgan had stabbed the victim in self defense. Witnesses also testified that Morgan stated he stabbed the victim after the victim admitted to sexually assaulting him. The victim, while testifying in the case, denied having sexually assaulted Morgan.

Following the verdict, Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley said he was pleased to have justice for the victim in the case. Stanley will argue for the maximum 11 year sentence at the hearing on Tuesday morning.

Stanley thanked all those involved with investigating this matter as well as assisting the victim including those from Meigs County 911, Meigs County EMS, the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force, the Middleport Police Department, the Ohio BCI, the Meigs County Victim Assistance Program, and the staff at the Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Morgan was remanded to the custody of the sheriff’s office following the verdict on Monday evening with sentencing scheduled for Tuesday morning.

By Sarah Hawley