BUTLER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Luzerne County man accused of killing his father and trying to cover up the crime is headed to trial.
William Morse IV is accused of killing 59-year-old William Morse, who went missing in June 2018. Morse was in district court for a preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors called witnesses who they say prove that William Morse IV did not get along with his father, murdered him, and then did everything he could to only cover up the crime.
Investigators testified that his son was the last person to see him alive. Morse told the police that his father got into a black truck and left his home on 170 Hollow Road and was never to be seen again.
A key witness for the prosecution was Robin Morse, the ex-wife of the victim and the mother of the accused. She testified that she arrived home to Sugarloaf Township on the night her husband went missing. She said her son was tending to a fire in a burn pit on the property.
Troopers testified Wednesday they found human bones in the fire pit. She asked her son where his dad was. He replied he took off. Robin Morse also testified that her son and ex-husband were supposed to have a meeting that day to talk out their differences.
They weren’t getting along. Robin Morse testified that she asked her son how the meeting went? He said not good, that his father started swinging his arms and acting wildly then took off. Robin Morse says she believed her son. Eyewitness News spoke to Bob Morse, the brother of the victim.
“It’s moving forward and I think justice will be served and we got a lot accomplished today so everything went well. Nothing surprised me but our team did a nice job and I think you are going to see justice prevailed so it’s good,” Bob Morse said.
District Judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to Luzerne County Court. Morse faces life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors have not said if they will seek the death penalty for Morse.
The Luzerne County man accused of killing his father and trying to cover up the crime was in court Wednesday facing murder charges. William Morse IV is accused of killing 59-year-old William Morse, who went missing in June 2018.
Prosecutors called witnesses they say will prove that William Morse IV did not get along with his father, murdered him, and then did everything he could to not only cover up the crime, but access his father’s financial resources, including a $7 million trust fund.
William Morse went missing on June 11, 2018. Investigators testified that his son was the last person to see him alive. Morse told police that his father got into a black pickup truck and left his home at 170 Hollow Road and was never to be seen again.
Sugarloaf Township Police Chief Josh Winters testified that Morse showed no emotion or sense of urgency when he filed a missing person report on June 20, 2018. A state trooper testified that in April 2018, William Morse IV did an internet search on how the chemical lye can help decompose bodies.
Another alleged internet search focused on how a murder conviction can be obtained without a body. Prosecutors say they will prove at trial that Morse killed his father and burned his remains in a burn pit.
At the Sugarloaf Township property, bone fragments were found in the burn pit.