Morton gets diverted sentence for fatal punch
Published 11:56 am Monday, September 19, 2016
The man accused of delivering a punch which proved fatal received a diverted sentence recently after pleading guilty to reckless homicide.
Demetrious Morton, 35, was sentenced to two years Thursday morning, but the prison time was diverted for four years, provided he stays out of trouble and meets other conditions. Kentucky law allows for diverted sentences for those who plead guilty to a class D felony who have no felony convictions in the previous decade.
Morton was charged with first-degree manslaughter following the June 22, 2013, incident on Denny Avenue. Police said Morton had an altercation with 51-year-old David Bailey. Witnesses said Morton punched Bailey in the face, Bailey fell backwards and hit his head on the street.
Bailey never regained consciousness and died June 20, 2013.
Morton was tried for second-degree manslaughter in February, but it ended in a mistrial after a juror became ill during deliberations and had to be taken to the hospital.
Testimony during the trial indicated the impact from the fall caused a skull fracture and brain swelling. The autopsy also showed Bailey had a blood-alcohol level of 0.327, more than four times the legal limit for driving under the influence.
Several witnesses testified they saw Bailey approach a parked car on Denny Avenue, which contained several juvenile girls listening to music. Morton approached Bailey as he walked away. Witnesses said Bailey started to raise his hands and Morton punched him in the face.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @FredPetkeNews.