KINGMAN - He's already lost his wife to prison and divorce. Now the inmate who enjoyed six days on the lam following his escape from jail is faced with losing his freedom for the better part of a decade.
Darren Morrison, 27, pleaded guilty Thursday to four felony charges, including three counts of aggravated assault and one count of escape in the second degree. Under the terms of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Judge Derek Carlisle can give Morrison up to 8½ years in prison when he is formally sentenced Nov. 13.
Morrison escaped from jail custody Jan. 18 as he was being unloaded behind the Mohave County Superior Courthouse. Surveillance footage showed him being led out of a van before shedding his shackles and taking off on foot.
Authorities later learned that Morrison had used handcuff keys his wife, Ashley, had purchased online and slipped in between the cushions of chairs where inmates sit in the courtroom. She was sentenced last month to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit escape. She filed for divorce in August.
Darren Morrison was arrested six days after the escape after he was spotted near the home he shared with his wife on Gold Street. Authorities said he had spent time at a campsite off of the Interstate 40 while on the run.
Morrison was being held at the Mohave County ail at the time of his escape on aggravated assault charges stemming from a domestic violence incident involving his wife that occurred on July 16, 2011, in Lake Havasu City.
Police said he threw Ashley on the bed and began choking her after she complained about him smoking cigarettes.
Morrison also reportedly attacked two roommates in the home who called 911 and were assaulted in the driveway while trying to leave.