Columbus Man Sentenced To Four Years For Weapons Crimes

Posted on:

< < Back to

A Columbus man has been given the maximum sentence for two weapons charges stemming from a high-speed chase in May.

Christopher J. Morris, 21, will serve four years in prison on charges of having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony, and unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, a fifth-degree felony.

He was found guilty of the crimes during a July trial in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court.

Evidence in the one-day trial revealed Morris was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a hit-skip on U.S. 23 just south of the North Court Street exit on May 16.

Ronald E. Nigh, Jr., 36, of Columbus, was driving the vehicle that was pulled over near the Picway Road intersection by Deputy Jacob Sowers, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, and then fled when Sowers went back to his cruiser to check Nigh’s identification.

Sowers followed the vehicle reaching speeds more than 90 mph and testified that he saw a black bag thrown from the passenger’s side window.

Nigh testified that Morris, who he met in prison, threw a handgun and the bag out of the window.

The vehicle traveled into Franklin County where it eventually slowed down and Nigh, Morris and another passenger – Tyvis Priah, 21, of Cleveland – jumped out and fled on foot, leaving the vehicle to crash into a wooden fence.

All three were apprehended with the help of Franklin County deputies and Columbus police officers.

When deputies returned to the Picway Road area, they recovered the black bag, which contained a sawed-off shotgun and ammunition. The following day, they found a loaded handgun along the chase route on U.S. 23.

Detective Rex Emrick, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, testified that during an interview, Morris admitted to throwing the bag with the shotgun out the window and said Nigh told him to throw the handgun out of the window as well.

Because Morris was previously convicted of aggravated robbery in Cleveland, he was not legally allowed to possess a weapon, leading to the charge of having weapons under disability.

The jury deliberated for an hour and 15 minutes before returning guilty verdicts for both charges.

Nigh pleaded guilty to failure to comply with the signal of a law enforcement officer in August. He was sentenced to 12 months in state prison at Orient.

Priah pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of attempting unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance and was sentenced to 86 days in jail with credit for 86 days served. He was fined $75.