Defendant Charles Morrow, being escorted by sheriff’s deputies into the Brewster County Courthouse, February 22, 2016 (Steve Anderson/Marfa Public Radio).
Earlier this month, Keith McWilliams was convicted in the 2014 murder of Trey Sands in Terlingua and sentenced to life in prison. On Monday in Alpine, his codefendant Charles Morrow went on trial for murder. This is reporter Steve Anderson’s report – from outside the courthouse – at the end of the first day of the trial.
I’m standing right outside the Brewster County Courthouse in Alpine and I’ve just watched as sheriffs’ deputies escorted alleged murderer Charles Morrow across Sul Ross Avenue to the county jail.
Morrow is represented by defense attorney Jaime Escuder, who is, incidentally, running for district attorney in the Democratic primary.
In his opening statement, Escuder admitted that his client was at the scene of the crime and participated in the cover-up, which included burying Sands in a shallow arroyo. In a previous statement to law enforcement, Morrow also admitted hitting the victim with a 2 x 4, but only after Keith McWilliams had already shot him. The defendant will apparently testify that he did so only because Sands seemed to be suffering.
Finally, Escuder said that he would produce expert witnesses who will testify that the sole cause of Sands death was the gunshot inflicted by McWilliams.
On the second day of the trial, jurors watched the video in which Morrow confessed to hitting Sands four times with a 2 x 4 after McWilliams shot him.