Meridian Star

September 13, 2013

Morris charged with murder

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A man who police believe shot another man who later died in a Meridian hospital has been formally charged with murder.

    Meridian Police Department Capt. Dean Harper, commander of the department's Criminal Investigation Division, said Thursday afternoon that 33-year-old Christopher J. Morris of Meridian was charged Thursday afternoon in connection with the shooting death of Manuel Torres. Morris was also charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling, and aggravated assault.

    Harper said the aggravated assault and shooting into an occupied dwelling charges are related to the same incident on the night of Sept. 4. A man was reportedly grazed by a bullet as he slept in his home.

    Bond for Morris was set at $500,000 for murder, $200,000 for aggravated assault and $25,000 for shooting into an occupied dwelling.

    Harper said Morris turned himself in to MPD authorities around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

    Morris was wanted in the shooting death of Torres, 45, of 3115 11th Street, after Torres died at a Meridian hospital Wednesday at 2:41 a.m.

    Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler confirmed Wednesday morning that Torres was found lying in a vacant lot beside Enterprise Funeral Home. The lot is across the street from Torres' home.

    Harper said Torres was shot once in the upper thigh around 2 a.m. Sept. 4 and was transported to a Meridian hospital's emergency room for surgery the morning of the shooting. Harper said Torres was shot with a rifle. There was no information available as to the caliber of the rifle or the motive behind the shooting.

    After the surgery Torres was listed in critical condition. Torres had remained hospitalized since the shooting until his death Wednesday morning.

    This marks the third shooting death this year for Meridian.