A Lebanon man accused of murdering three people in Stoutland in December entered a plea of not guilty to six felony charges on Monday. Morris McCabe appeared in a crowded Camden County courtroom at 11:15 a.m. to plead “not guilty” to three first-degree murder charges and three armed criminal action charges.
More than a dozen friends and relatives of Sally Amos, Donald Young and Donald Myers attended the arraignment in Camdenton. They waited for two hours and 15 minutes as Judge Stan Moore presided over a docket with more than 100 entries. Camden County closed its courthouse and postponed hearings in early February due to a 21-inch snowfall in Camdenton. The storm created a backlog of court hearings.
A hush came over the gallery as McCabe was led into the courtroom. Whispers of “there he is,” and “that’s the murderer,” broke up the silence in the gallery.
McCabe appeared in court in a red shirt and black and white striped pants, the uniform of a county jail inmate. His arms and legs were shackled. Three police officers escorted McCabe in and out of the courtroom from the jail entrance. The accused was not allowed to move more than a few feet from the door. McCabe appeared calm throughout the proceedings and leaned against a wall with his attorney standing to his left.
Camden County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Keedy read the list of charges against McCabe. Keedy noted that the first degree murder charges carry a penalty of death or life in prison with no parole if McCabe is convicted. When Keedy finished reading the charges, public defender Fawzy T. Simon answered Judge Moore’s request for a plea.
“Judge, as to all counts Mr. McCabe pleads not guilty,” Simon stated.
The plea set off a stir in the gallery, including one man’s outburst of “ha.”
Simon and Keedy held a brief off-record conference in front of Moore’s bench. The deputies and officers in the courtroom escorted McCabe out of the courtroom and back to jail. He will remain behind bars in Camdenton until his trial. The trial date has not been set. McCabe was in the courtroom for a total of five minutes on Monday.
Judge Moore recused himself from the case shortly after the arraignment hearing. The case goes to Division II Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden.
Contact Rance Burger at email@example.com.