Crime

Man arrested in Arizona pleads not guilty to murder in Fayette Court Tuesday

Jefferey Morris
Jefferey Morris

Jefferey Charles Morris entered a not guilty plea to murder in Fayette District Court Tuesday in the June 11 fatal shooting of Anthony Carter.

District Judge Megan Lake Thornton scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 4.

Morris appeared briefly in court Tuesday afternoon via video from the Fayette County Detention Center, where he is being held after being arrested earlier this month in Arizona.

Morris confirmed his name and date of birth in answers to the judge's questions, then abruptly asked, "What about the Eighth Amendment?"

His attorney, Robin Slater, quickly broke in, telling Morris to wait and that she would talk with him at the jail later Tuesday.

It was unclear what the question concerned. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, as well as excessive bail and fines.

Morris is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Carter, 47, who was pronounced dead about 6:16 p.m. at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital on June 11, about an hour after being found shot in the 400 block of Chestnut Street. Police said later that he actually was shot near Fourth and Chestnut streets.

Carter had moved to Lexington about six months earlier in pursuit of a better life, members of his family said at the time.

Lexington police obtained a warrant for Morris in early July, charging him with murder and evidence tampering.

Federal marshals arrested Morris, 30, in Glendale, Ariz, near Phoenix. He recently was returned to Lexington.

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