Manslaughter, reckless driving charges heading to grand jury for man accused of causing crash that killed Virginia deputy

Virginia News

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Two felony charges against the man accused of causing the January crash that led to the death of Sgt. Perry Hodge with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office are heading to a grand jury next month.

Authorities say 26-year-old Michael Dominic Morris crossed the center line going north on Route 11 when he hit Hodge’s truck head-on just after 4 a.m. on Jan. 14. Hodge died at the scene of the crash.

Morris was booked into the New River Regional Jail on Jan. 26, facing charges of aggravated manslaughter, reckless driving, murder, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

On Thursday, June 10, Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith announced that the charges against Morris for felony aggravated manslaughter and felony reckless driving that resulted in a death were both certified to the Pulaski County grand jury for July.

However, Griffith says that the felony murder and unauthorized use of a vehicle charges were not prosecuted on Thursday.

Morris is set to remain at the New River Valley Regional Jail for the time being.

You can read Griffith’s full statement from Thursday below:

“A prosecutor is limited as to what he is ethically allowed to say while a case is still pending. However, I want to make sure the public is as informed as it can be. Today in Pulaski County General District Court the Felony Aggravated Manslaughter and the Felony Reckless Driving charges against Michael Dominic Morris were certified to the July 2021 Pulaski County Grand jury. The Defendant agreed there was probable cause on both charges. The unintentional Felony often referred to as Felony Murder and the Unauthorized Use charges were not prosecuted today. The Felony Aggravated Manslaughter and Felony Reckless driving being certified by stipulation is both a step towards accountably by the Defendant and is in the interest of justice. The Defendant will continue to be held at the Dublin New River Valley Regional jail in Pulaski County.”

Justin L. Griffith, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Pulaski County

This news comes just days after John Davidson was convicted in Pulaski County for multiple misdemeanors after a roadside memorial dedicated to Hodge was damaged back in February.

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