A Westwood man arrested Sunday for the murder of his wife had called the Palestine Police Department several times in the last 16 months. On at least one occasion, he told police his wife had dementia and alleged she had become verbally abusive.
Harold Morris, 85, of Westwood, never told police he was physically assaulted by his wife, Linda Morris, 78, Police Chief Mark Harcrow told the Herald-Press Monday.
Harold Morris was arrested Sunday in the shooting death of his wife, Linda Morris, in their Woodside Drive home. Harold Morris called 911 after the shooting, police said, and was arrested without incident.
Neighbor Elizabeth Starr told the Herald-Press Monday she had witnessed troubling incidents at the Morris home during her five years in the neighborhood, but never thought they would lead to a death.
“I've seen him have to chase her out into the yard,” Starr, 34, said. “She had dementia, I think, and he'd have to catch her and try to get her back into the house.
“Caregivers said she'd do things like hide his medicines from him, and take his glasses; he couldn't see directly in front of his face without them.”
Starr, who lives across the street from the Morris house with her husband and five children, ages 10 to 15, said she has struggled to explain the death to her children.
“They want to know why someone would do something like this,” she said. “They don't understand what would drive someone to such an act.”
Morris remains in custody in the Anderson County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
The gun used in the shooting was an antique 38 Revolver, police said.
The case remains under investigation, Harcrow said, but the death was not accidental.
“What we do know now is that this was an intentional act,” he said. “This is a very sad case for everyone involved. We are still working to find out why this happened.”
Drivers noticed multiple Palestine Police squad cars and emergency vehicles blocking Woodside Drive, just after 4:30 p.m.
William Whitehead, who moved to the neighborhood with his wife and two toddlers two months ago, said he dismissed the Sunday afternoon traffic.
“My wife said she saw and heard multiple vehicles going up and down the road,” Whitehead, 25, told the Herald-Press. “I told her it was Superbowl Sunday; there's going to be traffic. I never would have thought this could happen.”
New to the neighborhood, Whitehead said he never met the Morris couple. The murder, however, has heightened his concern for his family's safety. He's considering a home security system.
“I'm probably going to get some cameras, and maybe look into getting a gun,” he said. “This isn't Dallas, I know; but, things are getting crazy.”
All suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty.