An investigation into the Wednesday death of 90-year-old Annie Morgan has led to the arrest of her husband on a murder charge, Columbus police said on Saturday.
Noel Morgan, 92, was arrested about 6 p.m. Friday at Sugar Mill Apartments, 6900 Schomburg Road, and charged with murder in the death of his wife. He pleaded not guilty to the charge during a 9 a.m. Columbus Recorder’s Court hearing on Saturday and was ordered held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail. The charge was bound over to Superior Court.
During the hearing, Morgan was seated in a wheelchair because he was frail and unable to stand for a period of time.
The charge stems from an 8 p.m. Wednesday call for paramedics at the couple’s apartment for a person stricken by a possible cardiac arrest. After paramedics arrived, they noticed a possible stab wound to the victim’s chest.
She was taken to The Medical Center where Deputy Coroner Charles Newton pronounced her dead at 8:45 p.m.
On Thursday, Annie Morgan’s body was sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy that determined the woman’s aorta was punctured by an unknown sharp object, possibly a letter opener.
Statements from her husband weren’t consistent with the investigation, police Lt. John McMichael said.
“They got the autopsy results back on that and it gave them some additional information,” he said.
No one was at the couple’s apartment on Saturday. Neighbors said the couple had no relatives in the Columbus area.
Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr, who has almost 20 years of experience at the jail, said Morgan has to be the oldest inmate he’s known to be held at the facility.
“He would have to be the oldest one we got now,” Darr said. “He is the oldest one I can ever recall.”
The sheriff said his facility is equipped to handle inmates who may have some medical issues.
All inmates are classified before they are placed in the jail. The suspect could be kept at the annex or another section of the jail where officers can keep a close eye on him.
“We have some options to deal with people like that,” Darr said. “At the end of the day, it is what the judge tells us. If that is where he’s going to be, that is where he is going to be. We just have to work around whatever issues the person has.”