Former Harrisburg man pleads not guilty to lesser murder charge

Monday, March 16, 2009 | 4:47 p.m. CDT; updated 5:26 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 16, 2009

COLUMBIA – A former Harrisburg man pleaded not guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in Boone County Circuit Court Monday.

State prosecutor Richard Hicks said he could not comment at this time about why the charges against Gregory Warren Morton were reduced.

Morton is charged in relation to the death of Mitchell Wayne Kemp, whose remains were found in a make-shift grave on Aug. 9, 2008, near Three Creeks Recreational Area. Kemp had not been in contact with his family since 2004, according to Missourian archives.

DNA analysis confirmed the remains were those of Kemp, who was 39 at the time of death. An autopsy conducted on Aug. 12 indicated that Kemp was shot to death, the Missourian previously reported.

Morton’s formal arraignment was waived in court Monday. His trial date has not yet been scheduled.

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