A threat made on Friday evening, March 4th, 2021 to the life of Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock and the Washington County Justice Center led to the arrest of Dalton Morris, 26, of Salem.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the investigation began at approximately 7:33 pm, when Washington County Dispatch received a report of a threat made to law enforcement and to the Circuit Court Judge.
A court security officer contacted the Sheriff’s Department to report the threat and stated he wanted to speak with Sheriff Brent Miller.
Upon speaking to the officer, Sheriff Miller contacted Detective Brad Naugle to report the threat and commence an investigation.
The security officer advised Miller that two witnesses came to his home earlier in the evening and stated they were with Morris when he told them he was going to kill Judge Medlock and other individuals at the Washington County Justice Center.
The witnesses reported Morris also more broadly stated he was going to go to the Justice Center with guns and start shooting.
Detective Naugle contacted the witnesses and conducted an interview. Both shared the same information with Naugle that they shared with the court security officer.
They also stated that while they were with Dalton, he became angry while talking about his court cases and made statements that he felt he had been treated unfairly by Judge Medlock.
They reported Dalton then said he was going to go to the Justice Center and start shooting everyone, and that he intended to kill the Judge.
One witness stated Morris looked directly at him and said, “I don’t care who is there,” and the witness felt Morris was making a direct threat to him.
Both witnesses also reported Dalton Morris made a statement that if he were to get pulled over, the police should start shooting because he will be shooting at the police.
They also told police Dalton frequently drives his girlfriend, Miranda Smith’s, blue Subaru Forrester.
After confirming the threat through direct contact with the witnesses, police began a search for Morris and located a blue Subaru Forrester in the parking lot at the Cobblestone Hotel in Salem, Indiana.
The vehicle was registered to Miranda Smith. Inside the vehicle, officers could see a firearm in plain view.
Police then located and interviewed Morris at the hotel. During the interview, he denied making any threats but did state he has been treated unfairly by Judge Medlock.
Investigators noted when Morris talked about his court cases, it appeared to make him angry.
Morris at first denied any knowledge of having a weapon, then later told police he knew a firearm was in the car and described it to police.
A search warrant was issued for the hotel room and the vehicle and upon searching, police found one round of ammunition in the room.
Morris at first denied knowledge of the ammunition, then later admitted to police he knew it was there.
At that time, Morris was placed under arrest for the charge of Intimidation, a Level 5 Felony.
Morris remains incarcerated and is being held on an $8,000 full cash bond.
His next court hearing is scheduled for April 5th, 2021 in Harrison County Circuit Court.
Suspects are considered innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.