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New Church man pleads guilty to assault and battery


By Linda Cicoira

A New Church man, who was charged with two counts of maliciously wounding, pleaded guilty in Accomack Circuit Court to battery on Thursday.

The victim, Valerie Cannon, of Salisbury, Maryland, refused to testify against Leon W. Morris, sixty-three, of RJ Drive. Commonwealth Assistant Attorney Michael Baker has reached a plea bargain agreement with Morris. In exchange for Morris pleading guilty, Baker dropped one injury charge and amended the other to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Judge W. Revell Lewis III gave Morris a 12-month suspended sentence. The accused had been incarcerated since the November 5 incident.

“It was a terrible mistake,” admitted Morris. We have been “together for 17 years. She punched me in the back of the head. She gets jealous of other women,” he said. Morris admitted that he then “put his hands on her” and she fell to the ground. Both had been drinking. “I haven’t been in trouble for 20 years,” Morris said.

The judge suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to stay sober. Morris said he thought about it and quit smoking. “I will go to church every Sunday,” he added. Lewis encouraged him to do so and eventually help others in the community.