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Morgan arrested in connection with Sims’ death

Morgan arrested in connection with Sims’ death

  • Alleged text directed law enforcement to wrong residence



Article and photo contributed by The Journal Record

News Editor

HAMILTON - A year after the December 2017 death of Billy Ray Sims, an arrest has been made.

Peggy Sue Morgan, 32, Sulligent, was arrested on Dec. 20, 2018, following an indictment by the Marion County Grand Jury for criminally negligent homicide in connection with Sims’ death, according to Marion County District Attorney Scott Slatton.

Morgan remains in the county jail on a $6,000 cash bond.

Slatton told the newspaper that State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jamey Bozeman is the investigating official on the case.

According to court documents, Morgan allegedly sent a text message to the grandmother of a Nicole Morgan, falsely claiming that Nicole Morgan (relation unknown) was being held against her will and gave directions which sent law enforcement officers to the wrong address.
The documents state that this was done in violation of section Alabama Code 13A-6-4, which says that a person commits criminally negligent homicide when “he or she causes the death of another person by criminal negligence.” It is listed as a Class A misdemeanor.
Billy Ray Sims, 74, Hamilton, was shot dead at his residence on Reese Road by law enforcement on Dec. 13, 2017.

The grand jury met in September 2018 and was presented with evidence regarding the Hamilton officer’s involvement. No indictment was issued.

The Journal Record published Morgan’s arrest report on Jan. 2 in its “For the Record” portion; however, it did not learn of Morgan’s connection to Sims’ death until Thursday, Jan 31. Slatton confirmed the details learned by the paper the next day, Friday, Feb. 1.

According to press reports, at approximately 1 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2017, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and Hamilton Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call from a mother who had received a distressing text.

When officers arrived at the residence on Reese Road in Hamilton, they were met at the door by a man with a gun. This ultimately resulted in the officer shooting Sims, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Slatton, the grand jury issued an indictment for Morgan’s arrest in December 2018.

Attempts to reach Bozeman by presstime on Friday, Feb. 1, were unsuccessful.

(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)

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