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Feeding a Dead Horse (The Case of Dana Stanley, Godchild to Shannon O’Day)

Feeding a Dead Horse (The Case of Dana Stanley, Godchild to Shannon O’Day)

State of Minnesota, Appellant vs. Edward Morrill, Respondent Filed September 29, 1958; Affirmed Finley, Judge; Dakota County District Courthouse


Prosecuting Country Attorney: Steve Ramsey (Speaks to the court):

Dana Stanley, born September 27, 1942, met Edward Morrill born August 28, 1930, while working as a teacher’s aide in the Dakota County school system. Dana was a student at the High School. Sometime during the school year of 1958, Edward Morrill engaged in consensual sexual intercourse with Dana Stanley, whom was sixteen-years old at the time, and Edward, some ten-years her senior. He had met her while in one of her classes, and thereafter, slowly the acquaintanceship became a relationship, and sexual. Edward fell in love with Dana, and she wrote several love letters to him, expressing her desire to marry him when she was of age.

Mr. Morrill, came to the realization, the relationship was improper, so he says, and brought it to the attention of the school principal, William Ingway. And according to Ingway, Mr. Morrill, was very sorry, and felt he made a mistake, and wanted to come clean, to remove it from his mind, off his chest, get it over with so he could go on living, and by doing this, he could bring forth exactly what the situation was. As was this following statement given to the state’s investigators thereafter, Sheriff Fauna, was present and had this to say:

“He told us that he had fallen in love with Dana and I believe it, he also said it was his first love that I think is a lot of rot, although it may have been her first love. I do see him as a sexual predator of some kind, although the principle Mr. Ingway, don’t see it that way, but then he has his schools reputation to consider, doesn’t he. I wouldn’t think there would be any type of pattern to his predator way of life, it is perhaps what he sees, and what he likes he goes after, but I am no psychologist. Mr. Shannon O’Day, the godfather of the child sees it my way also, said he picked her up from school a few times, and Mr. Morrill had always an evil eye on her, he said. To me it is plain as trying to feed a dead horse, He got involved with a student and this kind of behavior cannot be allowed because he says after the fact ‘I’m sorry,’ the sorry doesn’t’ do a damn bit of good. When he goes to prison, I’ll accept his sorry, and so will his godfather, and so will the mother and father, who seem a little more passive on this issue.”

(Steve Ramsey speaks to Judge Finley and those in the courtroom 🙂 your honor, this following statement was given to the state’s investigators also, by Shannon O’Day, the godfather:

“In my opinion, I would agree with Sheriff Fauna, I had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Morrill, last summer, actually during his summer job, aiding teachers at summer school, those kids that are too lazy to work during the normal school year have to go to the dumb school to catch up.
I was working on my brother’s farm, he died last year, and his wife needed me to do some handiwork, hired me for a-spell, and I got a hold of him on his off time to work, and I got to know him probably on a little better basis and uh, I do see it as a problem and he should get his penis cut off, the horrid son of a bitch. You should hang him, not put him in prison, it is like feeding a dead horse, he’ll just do it again, and again.”

(County Attorney Steven Ramsey) From the documents submitted, specifically the letters from the County Sheriff and Mr. Shannon O’Day, and the statements from the Principle Ingway, which I have aggressively pursued in this relationship between Morrill and Dana Stanley, disclosed relationship because it might never have been, had Mr. Morrill never have brought it to the attention of the school’s principle, and now that he has stopped initiating contact with Dana, and him voluntarily submitted to and paid for a psychological evaluation perhaps his social immaturity and poorly-developed social skills, can be readjusted during some kind of treatment which he says he doesn’t mind attending, if he doesn’t go to prison, which I recommend he does.

The morning trial took a recess; and Mr. Morrill’s counsel delivered an affidavit signed by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, saying in essence to the state, and district court, and it was given to Judge Finley:

“…Morrill and Dana we understand had a consensual sexual relationship that occurred as a result of affection they both held for one another, this we understand, and a long trial would not be in my daughter’s best interest, nor allowing Mr. Morrill to go completely free, even if he pleads guilty to the charge or not, and we understand he has pleaded guilty on the basis of a stay of adjudication, and as I understand that to mean, no prison time. So we feel the best way to resolve the matter is to have the court sentence him on a stay of adjudication. It is what our daughter wants too, although we know his Godfather is against this, but that is his nature. So there is no reason we see that the state should not go along with allowing our request.”

(Narrator) The state did say it would look at, and consider a stay of imposition. The district court told Morrill that it could not promise anything, only indicated a strong willingness. And so Morrill decided to plead guilty to the charge cited in the complaint. During the states questioning of Morrill and opposed to a stay of adjudication, the final decision on sentencing would be “up to the judge.”

(Narrator) At the sentencing hearing, the district court determined that there were “special circumstances” (and the judge had considered, behind closed doors before he talked to Shannon O’ Day allowing Morrill to be put in jail for 120-days, and 600-hours of community work, and five years probation, alone with restricting him to have any contact with minors without being supervised, but Shannon O’Day’s friend, Otis Wilder Mather, who still had frozen, if not hidden anger for the state of Minnesota and its off the wall law system, gave, free of charge $5000-dollars to bribe Judge Finley, to execute the worse punishment he could on the offender).

Judge Finley’s Decision:

“The state challenges the district court’s conclusion that this case presents special circumstances in which a stay of adjudication is not justified. Generally, the charging function is within the broad discretion of the prosecutor, which should not be subject to interference by the district court. However, a district court may stay adjudication over the prosecutor’s objection, if the case exhibits “special circumstances.” In the present case, the district court found no existence of prior or identical “special circumstances” to allow this. And I see that the state had reached no plea agreement worthy of the crime. Therefore, over the objects of those concerned for such a ruling, as the case warrants which is a sentence of no less than five years in the state penitentiary, at Stillwater, Minnesota.”

Lawyer for the Offender: “But your honor, Mr. Morrill has no history of aggressiveness, and his part of the relationship with Dana Stanley was consensual and they both appear to want to get married, and the mother’s statement.”

The Judge: “In this case, since you bring it back up, Mr. Morrill in addition is ordered to pay $500-dollars for court fees to the public defender’s fun, and if you question my ruling, I will fine you. And the more you talk, the more you dig a hole for your client, this is a severe breach of moral conduct, happen right in a school system. And for your understanding, he does now have a criminal history. I do not, nor does the public support this characterization. Affirmed.”

Note: this is a fictitious case, as are the names. Written 5-28-2009