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Sentence Suspended in '55 Death

Oklahoman Published: August 19, 1992

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A 60-year-old Oklahoma woman was given a 5-year suspended sentence Tuesday after being convicted of murder without malice in the death of her husband's 22-month-old daughter almost four decades ago.

Colleen Parker McMorris was convicted on Monday for the December 1955 death of Carolyn Yvonne McMorris. The punishment phase Tuesday culminated one of the oldest cases in state history, prosecutors say. McMorris, from Nicoma Park, could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The jury deliberated Tuesday for about 1 1/2 hours.

"Due to her age and the fact she has all these people depending on her - like her kids who are on welfare and her husband who is close to death - the jury determined that a five-year suspended sentence was the way to go," said Travis Ware, Lubbock County criminal district attorney.

The suspended sentence is similar to probation, except she does not have to report to a probation officer. Her terms would be revoked if she committed another felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

Kay Clark and Deborah Callerman testified that they saw McMorris, their stepmother, pick up their baby sister by the legs and slam her head against the floor.

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