BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)– An Adams County District Judge has ordered a former sheriff’s deputy released from prison after he served less than one year of a five-year prison sentence for second-degree assault and other charges.
“We were thrilled with the ruling,” said Donald Sisson, the attorney for former Adams County sheriffs deputy.
Sisson said he expected Morrow to be released from a prison in Sterling Thursday evening.
“We were very surprised. This is extremely rare particularly in a crime of violence,” said Sisson.
Morrow was charged with slugging a restrained prisoner in 2011 in the back of an ambulance after the man, Norberto Rodriguez, was unruly, belligerent and aggressive. The punch broke the victim’s jaw.
A jury convicted Morrow of second-degree assault in October 2013 and a judge sentenced Morrow to five years in prison.
Morrow’s lawyer filed for sentence reconsideration. After 228 days confinement, Judge Katherine Delgado ruled Thursday that Morrow should be released since he had no previous record and presented no threat to the community or the victim.
In her ruling, Delgado wrote, “The Court DOES NOT condone the defendants behavior. The defendant, a trained police officer lost his patience and self-control when he struck Mr. Rodriguez with a single blow.”
She said the time Morrow had been in prison had been “substantial and adequate.”
Her ruling noted that the victim in the case opposed the deputy being released early.
Sisson said he informed Morrow’s mother of the ruling late Thursday afternoon.
“She was elated and emotional,” said the attorney.
He told CBS4 that Adams County prosecutors vehemently opposed the sentence reconsideration saying it would send a message that police officers are treated differently than the average citizen.
After being released, the judge’s order calls for Morrow to be on probation for two years.