The Woodward News

Local News

April 3, 2013

Former detective sentenced

Woodward, Okla. — A former Woodward Police detective pled no contest to felony drug charges during a court appearance Tuesday.

Mike Morton pled to an amended information which charged him 2 felony counts of theft of methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to commit theft of methamphetamine, and one count of distribution of methamphetamine.

Morton was originally charged in Feb. 2012 with 13 felony counts, including additional conspiracy, theft and distribution charges.

However, as part of a plea deal, he pled to only 4 charges, not contesting allegations that between May 1, 2009 and March 27, 2010 he took methamphetamine from the Woodward Police Department evidence room to give to his then wife Christine England-Morton.

In exchange for his plea, Morton was sentenced to 10 years in Department of Corrections custody, with all but the first 12 months suspended for each count.  However, the sentences will run concurrently with each other.

His one year incarceration will be served in the county jail.  He must also pay additional fines, fees and court costs on each count.

District Attorney Mike Boring, from District 1 in Texas County, was the prosecutor in the case since the prosecutors from the local District Attorney's Office previously had a working relationship with Morton when he was a police detective.

Boring told The News he was pleased with how the case ended.

"I'm glad that we were able to reach what I feel was a reasonable resolution in this case," he said.  "I felt this case required a conviction on felony counts and I feel the sentence imposed was fair and reasonable for everybody concerned."

Morton was not immediately taken into custody to serve his 12-month sentence.  As per the plea bargain, he has until May 1 to turn himself into the Woodward County Sheriff's Office to begin his jail term.

Boring said it is "not uncommon" for some defendants to be given time to get their affairs in order before having to begin an incarceration sentence.

"When it's someone who's been out on bond and it's their first offense and we're not concerned about flight or any risk like that, to give them time to get everything in order, we don't object generally in those type of situations," he said.

The DA said that Morton's cooperation in the case also played a role in the agreement to give him a month before reporting to jail.

"When they come in and waive their preliminary hearing and delay before arraignment and being put on a trial docket, which can tend to string cases along for months, when they go in and do a plea and wrap things up like that, then we're much more inclined to work with them," Boring said.

While the plea agreement outlines that Morton is designated to serve his 12 months incarceration at the Woodward County Jail, Boring said it will actually be up to Sheriff Gary Stanley whether the former detective will remain in the local facility.

"It's up to the sheriff whether to maintain him here or move him elsewhere for security reasons.  But with the jail facilities Woodward now has, I anticipate he will stay here.  I think the sheriff will be able to make reasonable provisions for his safety here," Boring said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014