A Denver felon accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in front of her 4-year-old son yesterday likely would have been behind bars at the time of the killing if it weren’t for a release policy designed to alleviate overcrowding at the Denver County Jail, the Rocky Mountain News says.
Gregory Morris, 29, was held for investigation of first-degree murder. He was taken into custody after spending the day driving in his slain girlfriend’s car, returning at one point to the crime scene to retrieve clothing and his dog.
The victim’s family is furious that Morris, who was wanted for allegedly violating parole, wasn’t behind bars. “I want the courts to lock him up and never let him out,” said Allen’s mother, Denise Hood. “He shouldn’t have been out in the first place. If he was that dangerous, he shouldn’t have been out.”
Morris was released from the jail in April because of overcrowding and a lack of bed space for parole violators. The jail no longer holds inmates for parole violations that don’t stem from new criminal charges.
Undersheriff Fred Oliva said parole officers have 48 hours to pick up alleged violators and take them to another facility, or they are freed. “We’re overcrowded and parolees were being held 30 to 60 days on technical violations that should have been processed by the [corrections department]. I’m doing everything I can to speed up the process,” Oliva said. “I don’t enjoy releasing people. That’s not what my job is, but we have to manage this situation. To beat the drum and dance the same dance again, we have a facility that is severely overcrowded.”