This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A 55-year-old Carbon County man will serve at least 15 years in prison after he admitted to shooting his brother and then living with the decomposed body for almost three weeks.
Kurt Alan Morris pleaded guilty to murder, a first degree felony, on Monday, according to Deputy Carbon County Attorney Jeremy Humes. Humes said Morris asked to be sentenced as quickly as he could, so Judge George Harmond handed down the sentence of 15 years to life on Monday, as well.
"It's an unusual case, obviously," Humes said Monday. "But he was very cooperative from the beginning. He was cooperative with law enforcement and had admitted what he had done and admitted that in court today."
Humes said Morris had expressed concern over health issues, and wanted to be sentenced quickly, believing he would receive better treatment for his cancer at the prison than at the local jail, where he has stayed since his arrest on Sept. 4.
Morris was arrested after police found the body of Jack Roger Morris, 50, decomposing in the mobile home the two shared, sealed in a bedroom with duct tape and plastic.
Humes said Kurt Morris told authorities he shot his brother because he had an addiction to pain pills, and his brother was helping him obtain them. Humes said Jack Morris had planned to move away, making it more difficult for Kurt Morris to get the pills.
Carbon County sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Stefanoff reported that deputies were called to the mobile home at 1711 Carbonville Road near Helper after neighbors spotted a hose running from the exhaust pipe of a truck into the mobile home.
A deputy came to the home and saw the vehicle was still running. After no one answered the door, the deputy went inside to find Kurt Morris on the floor, Stefanoff said.
Medical units were called to treat the man for carbon-monoxide poisoning, while deputies searched the rest of the home to see if anyone else was inside.
During the search, Stefanoff said deputies found a bedroom door that had been sealed with plastic and duct tape. Once they were able to pull the tape down, and open the door, they found the deceased brother.