McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

February 11, 2013

Hughes County man released on a $45,000 bond

McALESTER — A Hughes County man has been released on a $45,000 bond after his arrest in the shooting death of a man in January.

On Jan. 20, Joseph Henry Harden, 22, was arrested but not charged in the shooting death of Michael “Eric” Morris, 21, also of Hughes County, officials said.

The death is still under investigation by the Hughes County sheriff, the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation and District 22 District Attorney’s office.

Harden was originally held on a $100,000 bond, which was reduced to $45,000. He posted bond and was released Tuesday at the Hughes County Courthouse, according to court records.

 Harden was “arrested by not charged for the First Degree Murder in this case,” states the affidavit by OSBI Special Agent Adam Whitney.

Harden’s attorney, Warren Gotcher of McAlester, said it is unusual for a person be held and released on bond without being charged.

Gotcher declined further comment on the case.

District 22 Assistant District Attorney Trish Smith said she is waiting on information from OSBI before she can go forward with expected charges.

“We are expecting the information from the OSBI in the next few weeks,” Smith said. “We were able to hold him based on the criminal information in the affidavit.”

The affidavit states Harden was arrested after he called 911 to report the shooting.

“In a 911 call to the Hughes County Sheriff, Harden said he had killed his best friend but it was an accident and he had been drinking alcohol,” the affidavit states.

According to OSBI agent Whitney, Morris and Harden were among guests at a party at home near Calvin. Most had left before the incident took place at about 6:15 a.m., according to the affidavit.

Morris, Harden and another man were talking in the kitchen when Morris went outside and retrieved a .38 caliber revolver and brought it inside with a box of ammunition, the affidavit states. As Morris sat on a kitchen counter and Harden stood nearby, holding the revolver, the gun discharged, hitting Morris in the head, court records state.

Morris slumped forward and there was “a lot of blood coming from Morris’s head ... and he fell to the floor,” court records state.

Harden then called 911, court records state.

“While the investigation was ongoing, Harden (told) Hughes County Sheriff Kenny Snyder that Morris held the gun (under) his chin and told Harden to pull the trigger, but did not know the gun was loaded.” court records state.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Smith said an autopsy is being conducted by the state Chief Medical Examiner’s Office but a report was had not yet been released.

Harden is set to appear in Hughes County Court on Feb. 26 at 9 a.m.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Look what's going on downtown McAlester tonight

    Tonight, area residents are invited to join other community members in front of the old Hunts building at the northwest corner of Choctaw Avenue and Second Street in downtown McAlester to listen and to play music in an open street jam, karaoke, cruise-in and to enjoy one of McAlester's two downtown districts. Set-up starts at 6 p.m., jam will be underway by 7 p.m. and at approximately 8 p.m. karaoke all the while cars cruise in. Everyone should feel free to bring lawn chairs and grills, instruments and music equipment, or classic, modified, modern -- all -- show cars. There are no contests or prizes planned, just community fellowship. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Badge MCC.jpg Detective's Dispatch: Buckle up

    It only takes a few seconds to put your seat belt on. These few seconds could change the rest of your life!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • KTC Proclamation McAlester KTC students compete in state FCCLA contest

    Kiamichi Technology Center, McAlester Campus, recently participated in the 2014 Oklahoma State Students Taking Action with Recognition Events for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-BREAKFAST1.jpg Lackey: Challenge of today's church is to empower Christ

    Christians everywhere make up the Body of Christ.
    Tom Lackey, of the First Presbyterian Church, delivered that message to the fourth gathering of those participating in the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.
    Lackey spoke to a group estimated at more than 100 men and boys at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in McAlester on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moon Shadow McAlester crowd gathers to watch lunar eclipse

    More than 60 local and area residents gathered to endure the cold temperatures and late night hours to witness one of Mother Nature’s celestial night shows Tuesday morning.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luncheon speaker Hundreds attend ladies luncheon

    The 42 Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon took place Thursday at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Copper wire $5,000 reward offered after theft of copper wire

    A $5,000 reward is being offered in connection with a theft of copper wire causing some $400,000 in damage and causing a Savanna asphalt company to shut down operations, police say.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash south of Kiowa McAlester trooper saluted

    Trooper Sean Mass of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, McAlester, has been recognized as a Trooper of the Year by AAA Oklahoma.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Men's Holy Week Breakfast Washington: Jesus forgives is message at Holy Week Breakfast

    All of us can find salvation and forgiveness of our sins, just like one of the thieves who had been crucified next to Jesus on the cross.
    That’s the message the Rev. Anthony Washington, pastor of the Mount Triumph Baptist Church in McAlester, delivered as featured speaker for the third gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week breakfast.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mills: 'Nothing personal' in contesting Layden's candidacy

    Pittsburg County Special District Judge Tim Mills says there’s nothing personal in his contesting the candidacy of Bill Layden, who is also a former special district judge in the county.

    April 16, 2014

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.