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Morris sentenced to 20 years for assault, endangerment

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A Charlo man has been committed to the Montana Department of Corrections for a total of 20 years with 15 years suspended for assaulting a bartender and driving under the influence of alcohol with a child in his car. 

Darrel Isaac Morris Jr., 34, entered a plea of guilty during an earlier court appearance to felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal child endangerment. According to court records, on Nov. 23, 2019, Polson police were called to a report of an assault at the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Polson’s Main Street. 

At the scene, a responding officer learned from witnesses that a man wearing a bright-orange shirt came into the VFW and walked the length of the bar and accosted patrons as he passed. 

A bartender asked the man, later identified as Morris, to leave and began escorting him out when he turned around and punched her in the face. Morris then punched another man and fled in a vehicle. 

The bartender’s nose was fractured in six places, according to a treating physician at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. One witness said he could hear the bartender’s face “crack” when she got punched. Another witness said they could see a bone sticking out of the bartender’s nose after she was punched. 

After the incident, another witness was able to get the license plate to the vehicle Morris fled in and then call emergency dispatch. Law enforcement issued an “attempt to locate” for patrol cars, and a short time later, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper located Morris driving in the Ronan area. 

Two additional occupants were in the vehicle Morris was driving: an adult female and a one-year-old child. Morris was intoxicated. He admitted to being at the VFW in Polson and that he had punched someone while he was there.

District Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher gave Morris credit for 12 days of jail time already served.

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