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Ceres murderer denied parole

POSTED March 13, 2013 9:35 a.m.
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Richard Dean Morris, 51, formally of  Ceres, was found unsuitable for parole at a Feb. 26 hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.

Morris was convicted in 1985 of first-degree murder and is serving a 25 years-to-life prison sentence.  This is Morris’s first time to be considered for parole and release back to the community.

Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar argued against the granting of parole based on Morris’s continued dangerousness and his deceptive answers. The board agreed and denied parole for seven more years.

In 1985, Morris and his brother, Robert, strangled to death their sister-in-law, Cindy Morris, who was married to their other brother, Randall, as a result of inter-familial conflicts. On the morning of the murder, the brothers first tried to give the victim pills to kill her, said the prosecutor.  When that did not work, they tried to smother her with a pillow.  When that was unsuccessful as a result of Cindy’s valiant struggle to survive, Richard held her down while Robert strangled her.

During the parole hearing – where Randall requested the release of his brother --Mangar argued for continued confinement based on Morris’s high risk to reoffend if released back to Stanislaus County.  Morris was found responsible for 16 separate prison rules violations while in custody including assaulting another inmate, manufacturing alcohol, and possession of marijuana.

“Richard Morris can’t be trusted to remain free of disciplinary problems in the community when he can’t even do so in the extremely structured environment of state prison,” said Manger.

His brother, Robert, had a parole hearing in 2009 and was denied parole for seven years.

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