Relatives of Annie Morgan characterized her nearly 50-year marriage to Noel Morgan as difficult.
Noel Morgan, 92, is accused of stabbing and killing his 90-year-old wife in their Sugar Mill apartment home last week. Morgan pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Columbus Recorder’s Court on Saturday and was ordered held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.
Harold Johnson, Annie Morgan’s cousin, said Noel and Annie had been married since the early 1960s, and that Noel would often try to prevent Annie from seeing her family.
“He made her alienate herself from the rest of her family,” he said. Johnson said when they had family reunions or holiday get-togethers, Annie would come alone and that Noel would not let any of her family visit them at their home.
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Johnson described Annie as a “quiet-type person,” who was friendly to everybody and loved her family — but Noel was the center of her world.
“She worshipped her husband,” he said. “She didn’t have any kids, just nieces and nephews. She loved her family, but she loved him more. Whatever he said, she’d do.”
Last Wednesday, paramedics responded to a possible cardiac arrest at the couple’s apartment, but upon arriving they noticed a possible stab wound to Annie Morgan’s chest. She was taken to The Medical Center where Deputy Coroner Charles Newton pronounced her dead at 8:45 p.m.
On Thursday, her 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.
Police said statements from Noel Morgan weren’t consistent with the investigation. He was arrested at the apartment last Friday. Johnson, 70, said Annie Morgan left Columbus at an early age and met her husband in New York, where she worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Noel worked for a tobacco company.
After they retired, they moved to Georgia, living in Stone Mountain, Fayetteville and Peachtree City before moving to Columbus three years ago.
Reba Dowdell, Annie Morgan’s niece, said she and her sister would go over to the apartment to take their aunt to the doctor and run errands, but they never entered the apartment. They always talked outside.
“My last conversation I had with her we talked about the family reunion,” she said. “She was looking forward to going to the family reunion this year.”
Johnson said Annie and Noel liked to travel. They’d gone on cruises together and had a timeshare in Pennsylvania. Dowdell said she remembered Spring Break shopping trips with her aunt in Stone Mountain.
“Whenever we’d get together, we’d shop. She lived to shop,” Dowdell said.
The family is making funeral arrangements. Johnson said Annie Morgan was the oldest living member of his family and had been like a mother after his own died.
“I just miss her,” he said.