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Jail attacker makes court appearance Thursday


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  The man charged with attacking two Marathon County corrections officers made a court appearance Thursday.

20-year-old Fredrick Morris appeared by video link from the Lincoln County jail. Morris’ new charges include battery causing great bodily harm as a repeat offender and two counts of battery by a prisoner as a repeat offender.

District Attorney Ken Heimerman and Assistant District Attorney Lance Leonhard cited several examples of Morris’ past criminal behavior and his failure to appear in court. Defense attorney John Wallace requested a 15,000 cash bond.

Leonhard says the high $250,000 cash bond is warranted in this case. “Certainly, the facts that were outlined in court today do warrant the cash bond the state requested. The judge certainly agreed. As referenced on the record today, Mr. Morris does have a history of failing to appear for court as well as ties out of this state. For all of those reasons, and in light of consideration he’s facing significant prison time based on this very grave offense, we felt a high cash bond was appropriate.”

Judge Greg Huber agreed with the prosecution. “In light of the gravity of these particular offenses, I do think a cash bond is warranted. I think the amount suggested by the DA’s office is appropriate, so I will set a $250,000 dollar cash bond.”

Morris will have a preliminary hearing in Marathon County Branch 3 on April 24th.

The judge also ordered Morris to have no contact with Corrections Officers Julie Christensen and Corrections Officer Denney Woodward if he makes bond.

Morris was part of a group of inmates that refused to turn over their food trays after a meal March 27th. As inmates were going back to cells, Morris moved away from the group and failed to comply with instructions, and then struck Christensen in the head with a fist. Christensen remains at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with severe head injuries.