LCSO: Shooting victim’s death could mean upgrade in charges

Authorities say Richard Dale Morris, 56, succumbed to injuries he suffered Friday night when he was shot in the head during an alleged confrontation at a home in Tarkington.

The alleged shooter, Jessica Tullos, 44, was jailed on a charge of Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon, but that charge could be upgraded, said Capt. Ken DeFoor, spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

“[It was] confirmed by Investigator Robert Dunn that the shooting victim did pass away on Saturday,” said DeFoor, adding that the Liberty County District Attorney’s Office will likely send the case to a grand jury to decide if the charge should be upgraded to murder.

The alleged confrontation took place at Tullos’ residence on CR 2279 in Tarkington. Morris and Tullos allegedly were at the home and drinking heavily, according to an earlier statement from the sheriff’s office.

“At some point in the evening, a physical confrontation broke out between the two and that is when Tullos went to a closet and secured a rifle while Morris went outside and was standing near the passenger side of Tullos’ vehicle,” the statement reads. “It was at this point that Tullos shot Morris in the back of the head.”

After the shooting, Tullos reportedly called the sheriff’s dispatcher on 9-1-1 and reported the shooting.

“At the same time, she admitted shooting Morris and told the dispatcher where she had put the rifle,” the statement reads.

Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon is a first-degree felony, punishable by 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Bond for Tullos was set at $35,000, which has been posted. She currently is released from jail.

By Vanesa Brashier,

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