- Phillip J. CavinessRush County Prosecutor
Justice For Tyell Morton
Tyell Morton is an 18-year old high school senior, who got arrested over a senior prank. He entered the Rushville Consolidated High School building with his hood pulled up, to hide his identity from the security cameras, and a package under his sweatshirt. The package contained an inflatable doll, which he placed in the girl's bathroom. He was then seen on the security camera leaving the building without the package. The school officials reviewed the tape after Tyell was seen leaving the school by a maintanence worker. The Indiana State Police bomb squad was called in and students were not allowed to enter the building. Police cleared the scene, found the doll, and classes resumed. Tyell admitted to officials that he was the one who placed the blow-up doll in the school, as a prank. He was charged with Institutional Criminal Mischief (a class-C felony) and Disorderly Conduct (a class-B misdemeanor). If convicted of these charges he faces 2-8 years in prison.
Schools and law enforcement are taking "zero-tolerance" policies too far. This is an 18 -year old kid who has never been in any kind of trouble before, facing prison time for a prank. He was held in jail with a $30,000 bond and not allowed to graduate. We do not believe, in this case, that the punishment fits the "crime".
Please help us tell the Rush County Prosecutor's office that we think these charges are excessive, Tyell should be graduating from high school and starting his life, not facing charges that could change his life forever, over a blow-up doll.
- Rush County Prosecutor
Phillip J. Caviness
Dear Mr. Caviness,
We are asking that you reconsider the charges in the Tyell Morton case. We understand and support the actions of the school, given the evidence they had at the time, and believe their decision to call in the bomb squad was justified. We understand that this was neccesary to ensure the safety of the students of RCHS. But when it was all said and done, and it was found that the only thing that Tyell had done was brought an inflatable doll into the school as a prank, your decision to pursue the case to the furthest extent of the law was excessive. The punishment in this case does not fit the "crime". Tyell has no previous crimial record. This young man's actions were a mistake, but not one worthy of Felony charges.
Tyell should be celebrating his graduation and the beginning of the rest of his life, not sitting in jail facing prison time, for a prank.
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