Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ah, yes, this is the way it's done

Nephew of Merced County district attorney accused of stabbing attack

Merced police say Matthew Morse slashed man with knife; investigators also find 37-inch knife with 25-inch blade

A 22-year-old man who is the nephew of District Attorney Larry Morse II was arrested Friday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Matthew Edward Morse was arrested by Merced police after he was accused of slashing a 28-year-old man in the arm with a knife. The stabbing was reported in the parking lot of Save Mart at 180 W. Olive Ave., according to Cmdr. Floyd Higdon of the Merced Police Department.

Because the suspect in the case is his nephew, Morse said an attorney from the state Attorney General's Office will handle the case. Morse called the arrest of his nephew heartbreaking. "I love him, but he's going to have to account for the full consequences of his actions like anyone else," Morse said.

Larry Morse said the suspect is the son of his brother, Brian Morse.

Police responded to the scene after they received a call that a man wearing a toga had stabbed the victim, leaving the area in a silver SUV-type vehicle, Higdon said.

The victim, who was sitting in the parking lot when police arrived, had two 1-inch deep slices in his left arm, Higdon said.

The victim reported that the stabbing happened after the suspect had verbally insulted his wife and circled the couple in his car, eventually coming to a stop, Higdon said.

The victim then approached the suspect, who was sitting in his car, asking him, "What's up?" The man in the SUV, according to the victim, then slashed him with the knife. After being cut, the victim said, he punched the man in the mouth. The suspect then left the scene.

Matthew Morse was later identified as a suspect after the victim picked him out of a photo lineup. He was found at a toga party in the 3000 block of Park Avenue and taken into custody, Higdon said.

The victim, who received 30 stitches in his arm to close both wounds, also reported that there was a passenger seated in the car with Matthew Morse. Higdon said that person was not involved in the altercation.

Police also recovered a 37-inch-long knife with a 25-inch blade, which was hidden in bushes at the Park Avenue location, Higdon said.

Matthew Morse gave no statement to police, Higdon said. He remains at the John Latorraca Correctional Center in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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