Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Ricky Morrow

Ricky Morrow
Ricky Morrow
Executed on 20 October 2004

Ricky Eugene Morrow, 53, was executed by lethal injection on 20 October 2004 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a savings and loan employee during a robbery.

On 19 January 1982, Morrow, then 30, and his girlfriend, Linda Ferguson, went to a Dallas pawn shop and purchased two handguns - a .38-caliber revolver, and a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol. That afternoon, they drove to Metropolitan Savings and Loan in Dallas and robbed it at gunpoint. About thirty minutes later, they arrived at First Texas Savings, also in Dallas. Morrow entered the institution and approached employee Kathy Crouse at her desk. According to trial testimony, Morrow became disruptive and frightened Crouse. At that point, another employee, Mark Frazier, 26, asked Morrow if he needed assistance. Morrow, according to one witness, "started screaming and ranting and raving and cursing and hollering that it was a robbery." He led Frazier at gunpoint to a teller window and pointed one gun at the teller, Tammy Roy, while keeping the other gun on Frazier. Morrow ordered Roy to put all of her money into a bank bag. She complied. After taking the bag, Morrow fired a single shot, which hit Frazier in the head. He died instantly. Morrow and Ferguson left with $5,500.

Witnesses described the robbers and their vehicle to police. After three days, police tracked Morrow and Ferguson to a hotel in the area. When they surrounded the room, Morrow pushed Ferguson outside and threatened to kill the officers. After an exchange of gunfire, Morrow surrendered.

At his trial, Morrow testified that he did not intend to shoot Frazier. He said he was attempting to uncock the hammer of the gun in his right hand while he reached for the money sack with the gun in his left hand, and that one of the guns accidentally discharged. "My thumb slipped," he testified. "It was something I never ever intended would happen." He also said that he was drunk and high during the robbery, and was therefore reckless in handling the guns. Kathy Crouse, however, testified that Morrow took the sack and stood back, then raised one hand from waist level to Frazier's head, then pulled the trigger. Another employee, Jo Brown, testified, "He looked, raised the gun, and shot." Another witness testified that Morrow was laughing as he left the scene, but Morrow and Ferguson both testified that he was distraught and crying when they left. Ferguson, who married Morrow some time after the crime, described him at his trial as "probably more sensitive than most people."

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