Grand Jury indictments have been filed in two separate Lafayette County murder cases. Michael Morris, 52, of Odessa, was charged in September 2012 with elder abuse. The charges were upgraded to include domestic assault and murder after his mother, Patricia Morris, 83, died at a Kansas City hospital one month later. Morris is expected to return to a Lafayette County courtroom on Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. He is free on a $150,000 bond.
Prosecutors are also preparing their case against Joe Courtway, 44, of Odessa. He was initially charged with felony assault after his uncle, Paul Schwartze, 56, was rushed to an area hospital with fractures to the bones around his eye. The two men reportedly got into an argument over hunting privileges in October 2012.
Schwartze died in the hospital a few weeks later and Courtway was then charged with murder. Courtway had just been released from custody on a $15,000 bail when the charges were amended and the court immediately increased the bond amount to $150,000. One day later, he posted the additional $5,000 necessary to be released from jail. Courtway is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 22 at 10 a.m.
Both Grand Jury indictments were filed on Monday.