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Cory Deonn MORRIS






A.K.A.: "Crackhead Killer"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Necrophile
Number of victims: 5 +
Date of murders: 2002 - 2003
Date of arrest: April 12, 2003
Date of birth: May 10, 1978
Victims profile: Barbara Codman / Shanteria Davis / Jade Velazquez / Sherri Noah /  Julie Castillo
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on July 19, 2005

Supreme Court of Arizona

opinion CR-05-0267-AP


In September, 2002, Morris lured his first victim back to his trailer with the inducement of money for sexual services. The victim had recently been released from prison and was taking medication for an addiction to heroin.

While engaging in sex, Morris wrapped a tie around the victim’s throat and strangled her to death. Morris kept the body for some time, using it for sexual gratification. Eventually he put the body in an alley near his trailer.

In October, 2002, Morris lured a second victim back to his trailer with money for sexual services. Morris similarly strangled the victim and used her body for sexual gratification.

In February, 2003, Morris talked a third victim into coming back with him to his trailer for sex. Once inside, Morris strangled her and had sex with the body.

Some time in March, 2003, Morris came across a woman with severe mental impairments. Morris lured her back to his camper, and sexually assaulted and strangled her to death. After her death, he kept the body for a significant length of time and repeatedly raped her.

Morris killed his final victim in April, 2003. Under the pretense of sex, Morris sexually assaulted her and strangled her with a tie. Morris kept the body, and repeatedly sexually gratified himself with it. A relative noticed a putrid smell coming from Morris’ trailer and discovered the decomposing body. The relative contacted the police, who arrested Morris.


Presiding Judge: Hon. Douglas L. Rayes
Prosecutor: Juan M. Martinez
Defense Counsel: James P. Logan & Randall Craig
Start of Trial: June 13, 2005
Verdict: July 11, 2005
Sentencing: July 19, 2005

Aggravating Circumstances

Especially heinous, cruel or depraved (all victims)
Prior conviction for a serious offense (all victims)


[Direct Appeal pending before the Arizona Supreme Court]


Cory Morris – black, age 24 

Sentenced to death in Maricipa County, Arizona 

By:  A jury 

Date of Crime:  9/2002 – 4/2003  

Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Over seven months, Morris lured five women to his camper, including three prostitutes, a developmentally disabled woman, and a friend.  Morris strangled the women during sex and kept their decomposing bodies on the floor of his camper where he continued to have sex with their corpses.  Morris eventually disposed of their badly decomposing bodies in an alley.  Morris was caught when his uncle investigated the smell and swarm of flies around Morris’ camper.  Morris’ final victim was lying on the floor of the camper.  The prosecution presented DNA evidence which linked Morris to each of the bodies.  The defense argued the murders were not premeditated.  Morris was also suspected in another murder but was never charged.

Prosecutor(s):  Juan Martinez

Defense lawyer(s):  James Logan

Sources:  Arizona Republic 7/12/2005 (2005 WLNR 10955801), 7/15/2005 (2005 WLNR 13374569), 7/22/2005 (2005 WLNR 13901681).


Serial Killer Sentenced to Death in Arizona

July 20, 2005

A man was sentenced to death for luring five women to a camper, strangling them during sex and dumping their bodies around a neighborhood.

Cory Morris was sentenced Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court, said Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for prosecutors. He had been convicted July 11 of five counts of first-degree murder in the killings in 2002 and 2003.

Morris, 27, sat quietly as the verdicts were read. His defense attorney, James Logan, described him as naive and argued that there was no evidence of premeditation.

The women _ Barbara Codman, Shanteria Davis, Jade Velazquez, Sherri Noah and Julie Castillo _ were in their 30s or 40s and had drug or alcohol problems. One was a friend of Morris; several were prostitutes.

The women were killed in a camper behind a house owned by Morris' aunt, and their bodies were dumped in nearby alleys or on sidewalks. The women were allegedly killed for Morris' sexual gratification.

Morris contended the deaths were accidental.

Relatives had let Morris, a part-time karaoke disc jockey, sleep in the camper until he could get a stable job. A break in the case came when Morris' uncle went to check on a foul odor coming from the camper and discovered a body.

Morris was a suspect in the death of a sixth woman, Janice Irvin, but he was never charged.


Cory Deonn Morris



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