Local News

Slain mom's father, stepmom awarded full child custody

Posted January 7, 2010

— A District Court judge on Thursday granted full custody of a slain Granville County woman's 6-year-old daughter to her father and stepmother.

Pat Currin and his wife, Juanita Currin, filed a request for custody in November, the same day authorities discovered the remains of his daughter, Kelly Morris, in a wooded area in Creedmoor.

Kelly and Scott Morris Slain mom's parents get child custody

Kelly Morris had been missing for more than 14 months after she failed to show up for work on Sept. 4, 2008. The same day, the house she shared with her family caught fire and her car, purse and cell phone were found in a neighborhood about a mile from her home.

Her husband, Scott Morris, 35, faces charges of first-degree murder and fraudulently burning a dwelling.

Scott Morris was called to testify at Thursday's hearing, but he invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to do so. His attorney, Jerry Clayton, presented no evidence and no one testified on his client's behalf.

Pat and Juanita Currin both testified.

"I love her," Juanita Currin said of the 6-year-old. "We are committed to do whatever it takes to get her whatever she needs."

Each said they have allowed Scott Morris' parents to visit with the child on three occasions – a request he made before the judge at a temporary custody hearing in November.

Kelly Morris had two daughters. The other girl has been staying with her biological father since her mother's disappearance.

Scott Morris remains in custody of the Granville County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities have not offered a motive for Kelly Morris' slaying, but according to search warrant affidavits related to the case, investigators allege that the couple had marital problems and were considering divorce.

15 Comments

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  • Shazam1 Jan 8, 1:55 p.m.

    I do believe a 6 year old knows where she is happiest. I hope justice is served to her. Who is to say she wouldn't be happier with her daddy's side of the family. Why are the Currins the best choice? I know people will jump all over that b/c there is no way Scott can be innocent right? And the rest of his family are horrible people to right? People always want to believe the worse. I understand that. There will never be a fair trial in Granville Co. for this case and thats just the way it is. I respect all opinions, comments, etc. I am continueing to pray for BOTH families, and especially the children.

  • kansaswho Jan 7, 7:45 p.m.

    Let the law handle things before you start running your mouths just to hear yourselves speak....seriously now..who's running their mouth. It is so obvious by your comment that you have never been in this situation before. This child needs some normalcy in her little life and the judge did the right thing. I am willing to bet you that he is as guilty as you know what and that is why his sorry self is sitting in the Granville county jail right now...If the evidence presented was good enough to lock him up..then more than likely it is good enough to convict him...sure wish I knew what you would do and how you would feel if you were ever in this situation...count your blessings that you never have been cause I sure have and it is devastating and your comment is really nasty..think about the child not the sorry low life that thought he could play god with this womans life...you should be ashamed of yourself~~

  • mebe Jan 7, 6:17 p.m.

    "Innocent until proven guilty applies to legal proceedings, not the public's opinions."
    WCNC hit the nail on the head with this statement.
    And the custody hearing is civil not criminal, taking the fifth at such a hearing is not going to help.

  • cth1 Jan 7, 5:17 p.m.

    "Has anyone asked this child who she would rather be with or what would be best for her? I just think for those out there that say harmful things to or about Scott and his family, wish the worse on him and his family...etc.etc.." Shazam1

    I don't think a 6 year old little girl can make the decision about what's best for her. I'm sure if you ask her she would rather have her mommy back. But, since that's not possible ..and, dad is in jail.. then the next logical choice are the grandparents. Would you rather her be awarded to the state and put in foster care?
    If you have kept up with the case and knew the parties involved then you would know where the emotions are coming from on these postings. Scott will have his day in court and I hope justice is served!! And, I hope his dad is charged with Obstruction of Justice! His dad lied to SBI agents about the night of the murder. (per search warrants)

    Praying for the Currin Family!!! RIP Kelly!

  • cth1 Jan 7, 4:59 p.m.

    "Silverwolf, I have always understood that people use coarse language because they don't have anything intelligent to say."

    WELL SAID Carolinarox!!! I second that!!

  • teacher-mom Jan 7, 4:45 p.m.

    When a child has no parent in the home, someone has to assume custody of the child. The father is in jail; the mother is dead. Usually a grandparent or some other relative is the best choice. I do not know what kind of relationship the child has with any of the people. Whenever there is a relationship between an adult and a child, it is the adult who has to do the work. No one has to say anything about the father, the little girl probably knows better than anyone else what went on in that house. This is such a tragedy for all involved. If you do not love your spouse, just leave. Do not kill him or her. Let your children have two parents.

  • Shazam1 Jan 7, 4:03 p.m.

    Has anyone asked this child who she would rather be with or what would be best for her? I just think for those out there that say harmful things to or about Scott and his family, wish the worse on him and his family, and actually go as far as to treat them wrong, you might need to be careful b/c who knows what situation you'll find yourself in one day. Unless you know exactly what happened and who is responsible then you should have no part in it except to pray for both families and especially the children.

  • carolinarox Jan 7, 3:53 p.m.

    Her dad can't care for her now and for legal reasons someone needs to be awarded custody of that child. Better her grandparents than the state. Silverwolf, I have always understood that people use coarse language because they don't have anything intelligent to say.

  • wcnc Jan 7, 3:51 p.m.

    "However, until he is proven guilty in a court of law, the state has no right to take custody of his children and award them to someone else."

    Child custody is a civil issue, the murder case is a criminal issue. Just how would this dad be able to have physical custody of his child while he's in jail awaiting trial? Custody has NOTHING to do with his guilt/innocence in the death of his wife. It has to do with what is in the best interest of the child.

    " Let us not forget how "guilty" the Duke lacrosse players were. Everyone was so sure they were guilty"

    I'd say that most people using their brain realized this case didn't add up from the start. So there were MANY who believed in their innocence!

    "Those of you out there convicting this man in your mind before he goes to trial do not deserve the protections of the constitution"

    Innocent until proven guilty applies to legal proceedings, not the public's opinions.

  • SilverWolf Jan 7, 3:29 p.m.

    This man may indeed have done what he is accused of doing. However, until he is proven guilty in a court of law, the state has no right to take custody of his children and award them to someone else. Sounds like to me the judge in this case is taking it for granted that Mr. Morris will indeed be found guilty. So much for due process. The judge needs to go back to law school because it has forgotten that people are innocent until proven guilty. Those of you out there convicting this man in your mind before he goes to trial do not deserve the protections of the constitution. You should be ashamed of yourselves. This is America not f'ing China or Russia. Let us not forget how "guilty" the Duke lacrosse players were. Everyone was so sure they were guilty, f'ing Nancy Grace was calling them every name in the book and in the end she was wrong along with most of the other man-haters out there. Let the law handle things before you start running your mouths just to hear yourselves speak.

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