Man held in contempt in murder trial of family member

LIMA — A Lima man was held in contempt of court for disrupting the murder trial of his family member on Tuesday.

Tyreese Morris, 33 sat in the audience in support of Demarco Morris, who is accused of shooting a 25-year-old and killing him shortly after assaulting his father.

During a police officer’s witness testimony, Tyreese Morris yawned very loudly and when an Allen County Sheriff’s Office Deputy placed his hand on his shoulder to ask him to be quiet, he yelled for the man to stop touching him.

Allen County Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser ordered his arrest when he continued to yell. When he was out in the hall, he could be heard yelling some more.

Kohlrieser said he was kicking the metal door of a holding cell, causing the banging noise that interrupted the playing of police body camera footage during the trial.

Tyreese Morris was argumentative and uncooperative when he was brought into the courtroom after the trial adjourned for the evening. He claimed to be “Morris Tyreese here on behalf of Tyreese Morris” and repeatedly interrupted Kohlrieser.

“I did not interrupt your courtroom,” Tyreese Morris told Kohlrieser and accused her of threatening him when she asked him to be quiet and allow her to speak.

Morris declined representation.

A video call was set up for the man with his microphone muted to be advised of the charge against him and his rights without him constantly interrupting Kohlrieser. He then changed his mind and elected to have Public Defender Kenneth Sturgill represent him.

As Kohlrieser was explaining the reason he was in contempt on the video call, Tyreese Morris appeared to be yelling, but could not be heard because his microphone was muted. The man shut off the computer at multiple points and disconnected the call.

Tyreese Morris then declined Sturgill as representation because he said he made “too much money” to require his services, Sturgill said.

After the man disconnected the call again, Kohlrieser continued the hearing for a later date and set a $250,000 bond with house arrest and an ankle monitor. She said Sturgill is to continue to be available to represent Tyreese Morris in case he changes his mind again.

Morris faces jailtime, sanctions barring him from the court room during the trial and/or a fine.