INDIANAPOLIS — Court records show an Indianapolis man repeatedly violated terms of his pre-trial release for a felony drunk driving case before getting drunk and allegedly murdering a woman this week.
According to previous reports, 61-year-old Rodregus Morgan was arrested on Oct. 23 after he reportedly shot Tracy Harmon in a vehicle in a neighborhood near 30th and Mitthoefer.
The affidavit for probable cause said on Oct. 23, Indianapolis metro police officers responded to the shooting. When they arrived, they found Harmon, who was shot in the front passenger seat. Morgan was reportedly “passed out” in the front driver seat.
A witness at the scene reportedly told police that Morgan had been arguing with Harmon for the majority of the day. The affidavit said that Morgan and Harmon had gone to a liquor store and then came to a house on the far east side of Indianapolis and sat in a vehicle.
As the argument escalated, the witness told police that he was told by Morgan to move out of the way. The witness turned away to leave and heard one gunshot. In an interview conducted with police, Morgan, who police said was “intoxicated” said multiple times that “he didn’t know what happened and that it all happened so fast.”
According to court documents, Morgan was previously charged on one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Level 6 felony. This comes after he was previously convicted of the same offense in July 2019.
According to an affidavit for probable cause for the August incident, Morgan was charged after he reportedly crashed into a vehicle that was fueling at a gas station on the northeast side of Indianapolis in the early morning hours of Aug. 17.
The documents said that after the crash, Morgan reportedly continued on and later crashed into a ditch, causing the vehicle to catch on fire. When Morgan was transported to the hospital, IMPD officers reported at the time that they “observed signs of impairment” with Morgan.
As a repeat offender, Morgan was charged with felony operating while intoxicated, but was released from jail on a $500 cash bond and ordered to undergo alcohol monitoring.
A violation notice shows on three occasions this month the suspect failed to submit breathalyzer tests, but a warrant wasn’t issued until after the homicide this week.
“A system that is supposed to protect people is contributing to harm of the people it’s supposed to protect,” said Reverend James Jackson.
Reverend James Jackson’s church sits just north of the homicide scene. He believes the court system needs to do a better job monitoring people on pre-trial release.
“We’ve got to get this problem fixed and until we fix it we’re going to continue to see things like this happen,” said Jackson.
A spokesman with Marion County Community Corrections acknowledged the violations and sent this written statement:
Marion County Community Corrections is deeply saddened by the actions taken by Mr. Morgan that resulted in the alleged murder. Our condolences go to the victim’s family. It is another tragic example of an individual choosing an act of violence to resolve a dispute.
Mr. Morgan was placed on Pre-Trial alcohol monitoring by the Marion County Superior Court in August for a Driving While Intoxicated case. For cases such as this, where the only condition is alcohol monitoring, these cases are supervised by our vendor. Mr. Morgan did have failed alcohol monitoring tests prior to his arrest on Tuesday. As a result of this case, a review of the policies and procedures for alcohol monitoring tests is being done between Marion County Community Corrections and our vendor and action is being taken.
Prosecutors were given a 72-hour continuance to file formal murder charges. In the meantime, the suspect is being held without bond at the Marion County Adult Detention Center.