Morris sentenced to 25 plus years for killing his daughter

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Hennepin County District Court judge sentenced Cory Morris to more than 25 years in prison for killing his infant daughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Prosecutors were seeking the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. However, Judge Kerry Meyer rejected that argument, along with Morris’ attorney argument for probation. Instead, Judge Meyer Friday morning imposed the sentence recommended by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines of 306 months.

On May 4, Judge Meyer found Morris, 22, criminally responsible for the beating death of his not quite five-month-old daughter on Aug. 13. The judge had to weigh the testimony of two competing psychologists and came down on the side of the one who testified that Morris knew he was beating his daughter to death and he knew that it was wrong.

In the sentencing hearing Friday, Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweasy argued that every father convicted of the identical crime the past three years has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.  That higher sentence was justified by the fact that Morris abused his position of authority as her father, her young age made her vulnerable and the way he killed her was done with particular cruelty.

Morris’ attorney argued that both doctors had testified that he was suffering from active symptoms of mental illness at the time of the murder and had a history of mental illness.

Just before 5 p.m. on Aug. 13, Morris called 911 said he had killed his daughter at the home at 1907 Franklin Ave. S.E. where he and the mother of the girl lived. According to the criminal complaint, the mother was at work and Morris was watching television when the infant began making baby talk noises.
 
He took her out of her baby swing. He carried her into a bedroom and placed her on the changing table and she continued making noises. So he punched her numerous times in the face and chest, the complaint states.