Man charged with tampering with ex-wife’s car
Published 9:45 am Friday, May 27, 2016
A Carter County man faces charges after police say he drove to his ex-wife’s home and tampered with her vehicle.
Carter County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Keith Range arrested Richard Morris, 59, of Elizabethton, on Thursday and charged him with reckless endangerment and fourth offense driving on a revoked license.
Shortly after 6 a.m. on Thursday, Range responded to a home on Lacy Hollow Road after a woman called 911 to report her ex-husband was in her driveway. The woman told 911 dispatchers that she had taken out an order of protection against her ex-husband but it had not yet been served on him.
Range said when he arrived at the home he found the suspect, who was later identified as Morris.
“Mr. Morris was in a medium to high level of intoxication and stated that he had slept in his vehicle last night,” Range said, adding he informed Morris of the order of protection and told him another officer was en route to the home with the paperwork.
When Range spoke with the woman, she told the officer after she had called 911 she saw Morris retrieve a long, silver tool from a truck at the property and then disappear out of sight next to her vehicle. The woman told Range she had received several messages from Morris threatening to kick in the door of her home.
“She also stated that just a few days prior he had removed the back tire off her van to prevent her from driving it,” Range said. “I then observed an approximately 15 inch ratchet laying on the ground next to (the woman’s) vehicle.
“I checked the lug nuts on both passenger side tires and found that they had been loosened and that I could easily turn them with my hands,” he added. “I also discovered that the ratchet was still set to loosen and not tighten.”
When Range spoke with Morris again, he said Morris admitted he had driven to the woman’s house around 1 a.m. and then spent the night his vehicle. A check of Morris’ license showed it had been revoked for a previous driving under the influence conviction and he had three prior convictions for driving on a revoked license. At that time, Range placed Morris under arrest.
“Mr. Morris is being charged with driving on a revoked (license) fourth offense and reckless endangerment in reference to loosening the lug nuts on his ex-wife’s vehicle, which could have caused serious injury or death if driven,” Range said.
Morris was taken to the Carter County Detention Center where he was later released after posting bond. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on July 12.