Woman charged with murder in the death of Missouri officer

CLINTON, Mo. – A woman who has been charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a western Missouri police officer last week.

The Kansas City Star reports that Tammy Dee Widger was charged Wednesday.

Her rental home was the site of the fatal shooting of Clinton officer Ryan Morton on 6 March. She had previously been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and with maintaining or the maintenance of a public nuisance.

Henry County prosecutors said that the murder is responsible, is added, because Morton was killed “as a result of” Widger the drug of the crime.

Morton was injured after being sent to the wrong house when responding to a 911 call from a different city. The suspect, James Water, then barricaded himself inside the house. By the time officers got to Morton hours later, he was dead, along with Water.

Widger, 37, is jailed on $100,000 bond. She has requested a public defender, but does not yet have a lawyer.

An investigation continues in the 911 error that sent officers to the wrong house, 20 miles (30 km) away. Henry County emergency communications officials have blamed a database error.

Court documents say Widger answered the door when officers came and said that there was no disturbance, and that they had not made a 911 call. Five officers went into the home to ensure that nobody is harmed, authorities said.

Soon after the officers entered, gunfire broke out. In addition to Morton, two other agents were wounded.

Morton lay dying in the house and the officers were not able to reach him for hours because of the gunfire. Finally, Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT team entered the house,

Widger, who was arrested at the scene, told the researchers that in return for helping Water distribute methamphetamine, he agreed to pay her bills, according to the court documents.


Information from: The Kansas City Star,

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