Morris probe continues; no action by Grand Jury
by Stanley Nelson - posted Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 @ 12:50 pm
The term of a parish Grand Jury looking into the 1964 murder of Ferriday shoe shop owner Frank Morris has expired without any action or report, although federal officials say the investigation continues.
The Grand Jury's six-month term was extended for two months in early October at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The panel's extended term ended Monday.
District Attorney Brad Burget said a new Grand Jury was seated Tuesday.
FBI spokesman Chris Allen in an email Tuesday said the Morris case remains open, while Xochitl Hinojosa, Public Affairs Specialist with DOJ, said, "Our investigation remains ongoing and we decline further comment."
Burget said he could not comment on the Grand Jury.
Morris, 51, died four days after the December 10, 1964, arson of his shoe shop in Ferriday. Despite intensive investigations by the FBI in 1964-65 and 1967, the case went cold until it was reopened in 2007.
In a report to Congress in October, DOJ reported that 79 of more than 100 Civil Rights-era cold cases reviewed by the FBI have been closed. However, DOJ indicated that three local cold cases -- the Morris murder, the 1964 disappearance of Vidalia Shamrock Motel porter Joseph Edwards and the 1967 carbombing murder of Wharlest Jackson of Natchez remain open.