Ex-wife of former Republic alderman charged with his murder

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 | 12:44 p.m. CDT

REPUBLIC - The ex-wife of a former Republic alderman has been charged with second-degree murder in the man's fatal shooting at a city park.

Rachelle Morris was held on $300,000 bond after being charged in Greene County Circuit Court on Monday with murder and armed criminal action.

The victim, 28-year-old Joshua Morris, died Sunday at a Springfield hospital less than an hour after suffering a single gunshot wound at Republic's J.R. Martin Park.

Police Chief Mark F. Lowe said he thought it was the first shooting in the southwest Missouri town in six years.

Investigators said the Morrises had met at the park Sunday afternoon and were arguing about custody of their two children, who were in a nearby car. A person whom police think was Rachelle Morris called 911 after the shooting, screaming that she needed help.

The couple were divorced earlier this year, and Joshua Morris had sole custody of the children.

Joshua Morris worked in real estate and had served on Republic's Board of Aldermen from 2005 to 2007. He was re-elected last year but had to resign because he moved outside the ward he was to represent, though he continued serving on the city's planning and zoning board.



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