Local News

Friends, family grieve after Franklinton man killed, allegedly by his son

Posted November 27, 2017 2:46 p.m. EST
Updated November 27, 2017 6:01 p.m. EST

— At Johnny's BBQ in Louisburg, Richard Morgan was more than a regular at the restaurant -- he was like family.

Friends and family were grieving Monday after the elderly Franklinton man was killed, allegedly by his son.

"When you eat with someone two to three times a week for 18 years, you become very close," said restaurant owner Johnny Gardner, one day after Morgan was slain. "His spot was always that table right there . . . that was automatically his when he came in."

Police have charged John Lawrence Morgan, 43, with first-degree murder in the death of his father.

John Morgan walked to a police station Sunday to report the death of his dad, who was found by police with multiple stab wounds. The son was arrested a few hours later. He was being held Monday at the Franklin County Jail but was expected to be transferred soon to Central Prison for safekeeping.

During a court appearance Monday, the younger Morgan, who turns 44 on Tuesday, told the judge that he planned to represent himself in court.

Authorities have not publicly disclosed a motive for the killing at the home the father and son shared at 119 North Main Street.

The younger Morgan was arrested in March for pushing his father to the ground, and authorities said the son has also had previous charges that include assault, drug possession and causing damage to property.

People who knew the Morgans said tensions between father and son were well known.

Said Gardner: "Just knowing the situation. I was afraid that something would happen to him."

"His mother left," said a woman, who knew about the family's troubles. "She couldn't put up with it."

Richard Morgan owned and founded the Franklin Veneers just outside of town. He continued to work at the mill even after the business was passed down to another son. Workers and friends say he had a tender heart - never knew a stranger and was a devoted father - until the bitter end.

"You always look back and wish you had said something but in a situation when a man who loves his son (then) he is going to support his son anyway he can," Gardner said. "It's tough to tell someone to do something different other than support your children."