Greenbrier County Attorney E. L. Morgan Jr. Charged With Driving Under The Influence Causing Death

By Bobby Bordelon

April 16, 2020

After a crash on Ronceverte Hill and the death of a passenger, local attorney Edwin Lavoyd Morgan Jr. was arrested and charged with driving under the influence causing death. Amelia Winnsby passed on April 3 in the aftermath of the wreck.

According to the criminal complaint, Sergeant C.R. Smith of the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department was driving north on Route 219 when he ran over a piece of plastic on the roadway. He stopped, looking to remove the plastic, when he saw a wrecked truck over Ronceverte Hill.

He approached, making contact with Morgan, and asked if he needed help. Morgan allegedly stated he "was ok but needed to find a female that was with him." Smith asked if he was drunk, and allegedly said "yes."

"It should be noted that the female passenger in the vehicle that the accused was driving was found deceased approximately 100 yards from the truck," reads the complaint. The complaint then identifies Winnsby.

Emergency services arrived, including Deputy B.J. McCormick of the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Office. Morgan was assisted by emergency services members and refused medical treatment. McCormick asked to perform a field sobriety test, noting "he could smell a strong presence of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, had had blood shot eyes, slurred speech, and had trouble keeping his balance while standing and walking," but Morgan refused, was placed under arrest, and transported to the Lewisburg Detachment of the sheriff's office.

Sergeant T.C. Webber of the sheriff's office was initially dispatched to Ronceverte Hill on Route 219 at approximately 10:30 p.m., but met with Morgan at the sheriff's office. He was deployed as a standardized field sobriety instructor and drug recognition expert and had been "made aware that this was a DUI causing death" before arriving.

Morgan refused two Intox EC/IR II breath tests before Webber received a search warrant for his blood. Webber notes in the complaint he also could "immediately smell a strong presence of an alcoholic beverage coming from" Morgan's mouth. After being transferred to Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, a sample was taken for further analysis.

"It should be noted," the complaint reads," that while being admitted into the emergency room, in the triage room, the nurse on duty was asking normal routine questions to the accused and while doing so asked [Morgan] if he was driving the truck that wrecked ... he verbally stated 'yes.' ... Based on the aforementioned facts, the accused [Morgan] is impaired and unable to operate a vehicle safely."

Morgan was charged with driving under the influence causing death, a felony that, if convicted, could carry a sentence of imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than three nor more than 15 years and a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000. He was released on April 4, after posting a $50,000 bond.

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