Attempted Murder Charge Is Dropped in Ohio County

A Cleveland man accused of firing shots at another man in a Wheeling Island alley has been released from jail after the alleged victim failed to appear in court.

Walter Kenneth Morgan, 28, was released from the Northern Regional Jail after his appearance for a preliminary hearing this week before Ohio County Magistrate Patty Murphy. Officials dropped the attempted murder charge due to the absence of the alleged victim.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said he couldn’t rule out refiling charges against Morgan,

“I would assume that with the witness available and/or additional information, that the charges against Morgan could be brought again,” Schwertfeger said.

At approximately 1:39 p.m. on Sept. 26, officers responded a report of shots fired near 525 S. Huron St. The alleged victim at that time told officers that three individuals shot at him as he took his trash to an alley behind his home. The man was not injured.

According to a criminal complaint, the alleged victim identified Morgan and told police that Morgan was shooting at him from around a garage in the alley. A review of surveillance video footage of the alley, in addition to multiple interviews, led to Morgan’s arrest, according to police.

“The video shows a black male wearing black, going behind a garage in the alley. The video also shows a black male wearing a white shirt walk down the alley and go behind the same garage as the individual in black,” Wheeling police Detective Rob Safreed wrote in the complaint.

Safreed recovered a single spent shell casing from the area around the garage, according to the complaint. Neighbors reported hearing five or six shots fired, police said previously.

The two other subjects that reportedly were in the alley during the altercation have not been identified.

Morgan was arrested Sept. 29.