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Couple charged in murder of general manager

April 1, 1997

SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) _ Robbery was the apparent motive in the shooting death of Blue Ribbon Downs’ general manager Dwayne Burrows, according to a prosecutor.

Thomas M. ``Mike″ Morgan and Stacy Lea Morgan of Sallisaw were arrested Monday night and charged in the murder.

Dwayne Burrows, 55, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and chest last Wednesday in his Sallisaw home. A bloody trophy was next to his body. He reportedly was wearing several thousand dollars worth of gold jewelry, including a ring and necklace, that was untouched by his assailant.

State District Judge A.J. Henshaw denied bail for the Morgans and scheduled arraignments for 8 a.m. Thursday.

The OSBI said Morgan, 32, was arrested at the restaurant where he works. Mrs. Morgan, 29, was arrested at their home.

``The investigators told me there were some items they believed belonged to Mr. Burrows that were missing from the home,″ Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kym Koch said Tuesday. ``They traced those items to a jewelry store in Fort Smith, Ark. From that they were able to get a name and description.″

Darrell Dowty, first assistant district attorney for Sequoyah County, said he filed three counts charging Morgan with first-degree murder, robbery and burglary. Mrs. Morgan was charged with two counts: accessory to murder and knowingly concealing stolen property.

``Robbery is the apparent motive at this time, and the investigation is continuing,″ Dowty said following their court appearance.

Dowty said he did not know whether more arrests were likely.

Track attorney Jim Jones said the Morgans did not work at Blue Ribbon, which has about 215 employees. Jones said he believes Burrows had ``a passing connection″ to Morgan through the restaurant where Morgan was a waiter and Burrows frequently ate.

Jones said he represented Mrs. Morgan in a civil matter in 1990.

``It’s emotional to learn that people you know, local people that you know and have had contact with personally, (are) involved,″ he said. ``I don’t know any logic or reason for the involvement with Dwayne.″

Burrows had been manager at Blue Ribbon since about 1980. The track last week beat an attempt by creditors to force bankruptcy court protection onto the indebted facility.

Creditors include the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, which is owed $243,169.69 in back fees, and the Sallisaw Municipal Authority.

The track, the state’s oldest, runs quarter horse and thoroughbred races.