Delegate’s wife now charged

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The wife of Delegate Rick Morris has been charged with three counts of assault and battery of a family member after he claimed in court documents that she instigated several physical altercations in which he has already been charged.

Kathryn Morris, 32, was served with the arrest warrants on Monday just after 9 a.m., according to court documents.

Her husband, Richard Lee “Rick” Morris, 47, was arrested last month and charged with 14 counts of various crimes, stemming from alleged abuse of his wife and an adolescent child in the home.

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The delegate also applied for and received a protective order against his wife, who also has one against him.

In two of the newest charges, Rick Morris says he was turning to walk away from a verbal argument when his wife began the physical assault.

On Aug. 15, Morris wrote in his complaint, the couple got into a verbal argument.

“She went into a screaming rage, and I turned to walk away,” he wrote. “She grabbed me by the neck and the arm and pushed me back onto the edge corner of the wall, which caused a bruise on my shoulder. I tried to push her off of me, but we fell to the floor next to the couch. When we fell, her nails ripped across my neck, causing a deep scratch.”

Morris then states he made a derogatory comment about her mental status, and she punched him in the eye, causing a large welt.

He adds that he told her he wanted a divorce on Sept. 18. He was arrested two days later.

In another criminal complaint, Morris described an incident on Feb. 28. The couple got into a verbal argument in the kitchen, he wrote.

“I turned to walk away and she grabbed my arm and neck and restrained me,” he wrote. “She was in a screaming rage again. With the arm that she was holding onto, I pushed her off of me and she went backwards one or two steps.”

In another instance, Morris said he was holding the baby when an argument turned physical.

On Dec. 23, he wrote in his complaint, Morris had taken a sleeping pill. About 1:30 a.m., the baby started crying, and the couple got into an argument about who would get the child.

Eventually, Rick Morris got up, got the baby and brought it back into their bedroom.

“The verbal argument continued and she went into a screaming rage,” he wrote. “While I was still holding the baby, she grabbed my head restraining me and began screaming in my face.”

He then described pushing her backwards to get her off of him and the baby.

“She has grabbed me like this before,” he wrote.

The dates of the delegate’s accusations against his wife correspond with the allegations she made against him, including the room of the house they were in during the argument. She described the punch after the two fell into the couch as a defensive action in her complaints.

Rick Morris also is charged with several allegations of abuse of an adolescent child in the household. According to warrants taken out by Suffolk Police, Morris had struck the child on his hands and his wrists with a wooden spoon and leather belt.

He also threw a metal hose nozzle at the boy as he did push-ups as punishment, leaving a nozzle-shaped mark on his back, according to the criminal complaint. On another occasion, police said, Rick Morris punched the boy in the stomach.

Morris is a Republican and represents the 64th District, which includes parts of Suffolk and Franklin as well as Southampton, Isle of Wight, Prince George, Surry and Sussex counties.

Kathryn Morris’ first court appearance is set for Oct. 10 in Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court.

Rick Morris’ attorney, Nicole Belote, did not return an email Tuesday afternoon.