MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minneapolis father was found guilty this week of murdering his 4-month-old daughter, and now the court is slated to decide whether or not the man was mentally ill when he beat the girl to death.
Cory Morris, 22, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the August death of his daughter, Emersyn, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. District Court Judge Kerry Meyer came to the decision Wednesday afternoon following the first part of the trial. On Thursday, the second part of the trial began and could wrap up as early as Friday.
The second part of the trial will determine whether or not Morris was seriously mentally ill when he killed his daughter. On Wednesday, the child’s mother testified that Morris was a good father who’d been watching the baby for months before her killing.
She said Morris’ social anxiety had worsened in the months after Emersyn was born, adding that he saw a therapist just two days before the killing. The child’s mother said Morris seemed sadder in the days before the murder, but nothing indicated he would hurt the child.
On Aug. 13, Morris called Minneapolis police saying he’d killed his daughter at the couple’s home on the 1900 block of Franklin Avenue Southeast. Court documents say he was watching TV when the baby wouldn’t stop making noises.
Morris took the girl into a bedroom, placed her on a changing table and punched her several times in the face and in the chest. The child’s mother was not home at the time of the killing.
Morris’ attorney is expected to call family members and a psychiatrist to testify in the second phase of the trial, the attorney’s office says.