Local News

Granville County man pleads guilty in wife's slaying

Posted June 13, 2011

— A Granville County man accused of killing his wife and setting their home on fire in September 2008 avoided a potential death sentence when he pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the case.

William Scott Morris was arrested Nov. 16, 2009, on charges of first-degree murder and fraudulently burning a dwelling, in connection with the death of his wife, Kelly Morris, 28.

Under his plea, he was sentenced to 13 to 16 years in prison.

"It was not what we wanted. It was not what we hoped for," Kelly Morris' father, Pat Currin, said after the plea. "But we are realists. We knew we didn't have a murder weapon. We knew we couldn't prove where she was killed. We couldn't really prove anything."

Her parents said the deal was in the best interest of their two grandchildren.

"We have two little girls who want to know what happened to their mother," Kelly Morris' stepmother, Juanita Currin said. They want to know what happened to their mother. For 33 months, all we have been able to tell them is we don't know."

In a written statement delivered in court, Juanita Currin said she believes Scott Morris killed his wife while the children were upstairs in their bedrooms and that she doesn’t believe he acted alone.

"Scott did not give Kelly the opportunity or chance to live a normal life," she said in the statement. "Instead, he took her life and devastated the lives of all those who loved her. Second-degree murder does not and will not provide justice for Kelly. Scott's plea to second-degree murder does not give us or her children answers."

Kelly Morris was last seen Sept. 3, 2008. The following day, the house she shared with her family, at 3220 Tump Wilkins Road in Stem, caught fire. Hours later, investigators found her car about a mile from her home with her keys, purse and cell phone inside.

Her skeletal remains were found Nov. 16, 2009, in the Tar River Fox Pen in southern Granville County, her family has said.

An autopsy couldn't determine how Kelly Morris died but the state medical examiner concluded that she "most likely" was killed.

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


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  • jacamillo Jun 14, 2011

    The results of all this are sickening. A young wife, mother, sister, & friend...taken, treated as if she meant nothing more than a bag of trash. Those beautiful girls have no mother, & everyone else from her life only have memories. The murderer gets a few years in jail. Wow. Real justice! I know the Currin family must be sick at this outcome. I have no faith in our justice system after this. A plea bargain that says that young woman's life was only worth 13 years - mind you 13 years where he gets 3 meals a day, a bed to sleep at night, and leisurely activities all day - then makes it out alive, and a free man. Maybe prison will change him. Hopefully he is haunted for the rest of his life, just like her family is. I don't even know that you could call this closure. It's just disgusting.

  • pebbles262004 Jun 14, 2011

    "oldwizr" Can you read?? This man said that he killed her. He admitted it..Duh

  • HEAFIE200 Jun 14, 2011

    PS - I am pretty sure that the SBI investigated this murder case along with granville county get your facts people

  • HEAFIE200 Jun 14, 2011

    The only thing that gives me some satisfaction is knowing when he gets out - he will be a completely BROKEN man - jail will break him (hopefully), and most likely he has lost all of his so called friends (or most of them), I still think he had help from a friend or someone.
    HE IS A SICK, TWISTED DISGUSTING INDIVIDUAL - AND I HOPE THEY PUT HIM IN THE WORST PRISON THEY CAN FIND - maybe then some retribution will be found for the family.

  • HEAFIE200 Jun 14, 2011

    I'm sick - 13 to 16 years, he disgusting - why did they let him plea out - i understand protecting the kids, but he should have received ALOT more time and i being a mother don't think that i could live knowing that he will be out LONG before the 13-16 years is UP. HE MAKES ME SICK to my stomach.

  • numb25r Jun 14, 2011

    yes because looking out and seeing the sun up in the sky is the EXACT same thing. And it's such a PERFECT metaphor, because just like there is only one way for the sun to get up in to the sky, there can only be one possible way for a person die. Shortcake53, WHAT A SMART GUY. Totally debunked it all with a rising sun metaphor.

  • shortcake53 Jun 13, 2011

    numb25r, I KNOW I didnt do it, and I KNOW he confessed. I dont have to see him drag her away to be able to put things together. I didnt SEE the sun come up today, but I KNOW it did........

  • jody4663 Jun 13, 2011

    He will NEVER EVER be a free man! If any of you out there reading this are his friend, please let him no that he will NEVER EVER be a free man. "A man guilty of murder will be a fugitive for the rest of his life."

    eccgc, I think you're right on target. He will never be a free man. I just hope her family is able to move on and have some normalcy in their lives, if that's possible. Geez...

  • notbatman Jun 13, 2011

    I think it is good that he pled guilty, since he most likely IS. And let's not forget the entire YEAR that he let this family hang in limbo, not being able to have closure about Kelly. AND the countless hours and expense (paid and volunteer) he caused since he waited that year to give a clue about the location of her body. Wake up, people!

  • michellepaine Jun 13, 2011

    el conquistador....he told someone?? as I remember someone in the fox pen found her body...they searched for over a year for her!!!!!