by Todd Brogowski
RATON — There were few surprises in the State v. Morgan murder trial. On Friday, May 7, 2021, Morgan entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment. While it is expected that Morgan will defend his actions by claiming self-defense at trial, Morgan did not raise any affirmative defenses (to include insanity and self-defense) during the arraignment. Prosecutors allege Morgan shot his neighbor, James McDowell, during a dispute in the alley behind their homes on First Avenue in Raton. Morgan admitted to shooting McDowell, claiming self-defense. The State will likely argue that some of the shots fired by Morgan were fired from a position directly over McDowell, negating a claim of self-defense.
The Eighth Judicial Circuit is expected to schedule pre-trial discovery and set a trial date in the near future.