Local News

Husband of slain Stem mom to face death penalty

Posted April 7, 2010 7:22 a.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2010 6:59 p.m. EDT

— Granville County's district attorney formally announced his intention Wednesday to seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing his wife and setting their home on fire in September 2008.

William Scott Morris, 35, of 113 W. Church St. in Creedmoor, is charged with first-degree murder and fraudulently burning a dwelling, in connection with the death of his wife, Kelly Morris, 28.

She 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.

According to her family, Kelly Morris' skeletal remains were found Nov. 17 in the Tar River Fox Pen in southern Granville County.

Scott Morris was charged on the same day.

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.

District Attorney Sam Currin also asked Wednesday that other search warrants in the case be unsealed, but Scott Morris' second defense attorney, Buddy Conner, said he had not had a chance to review the warrants. Scott Morris is also represented by attorney Jerry Clayton.

Kelly Morris' family was present at the hearing but declined to comment.