2010-02-10 / Front Page

Mom is jailed after violating probation

A 30-year-old Letcher County woman who was on probation in connection with the 2004 death of her three-month-old daughter and the assault of her infant son has been ordered to serve five years in prison for violating the terms of the agreement that was keeping her out of jail.

Desiree Banks Morton was ordered by Special Judge Johnny Ray Harris of Floyd County to serve the sentence originally imposed several years ago by Floyd Circuit Judge Danny P. Caudill.

According to an order signed Feb. 1, 2010, Morton will serve a maximum of five years in the penitentiary on each of the two charges of second-degree criminal abuse. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Morton is credited with time served after her indictment on the original charges, plus an additional eight days. She will be eligible for parole after she serves about 18 months in prison.

Judge Harris ruled that Morton violated terms of her probation when she was arrested in Perry County more than a year ago, on Jan. 24, 2009, and charged with public intoxication.

Morton was originally charged with complicity to murder in the death of Hailey Madison Morton and complicity to first-degree assault in the beating of Hailey’s triplet brother, Hayden Edward Morton.

Hailey Morton died October 22, 2004 of a skull fracture and broken ribs. Hayden Morton received similar injuries but survived. A third infant, Hannah Dawn Morton, wasn’t injured.

The father of the triplets, Edward Morton of Campbranch, was found guilty of reckless homicide and second-degree assault by a Letcher Circuit jury in November 2006. Morton was sentenced to a total of 11 years — five years in jail for the reckless homicide charge and six years for second degree assault. Caudill was appointed special judge in the case.

In exchange for her pleas of guilty, Desiree Morton was sentenced to two five-year prison terms to be served consecutively. The sentence was probated for a period of five years under conditions that Morton break no other laws and participate in a substance abuse program; agree to random alcohol and drug testing; keep a job or maintain standing as a full-time college student; be under curfew between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., and have no contact with her own or any other children.

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