NJ man to return from Calif. over daughter killing
by Julie Watson
Associated Press
December 01, 2011 02:20 PM | 450 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This file photo provided by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office shows Tierra Morgan-Glover of Lakehurst, N.J., who was found dead in her car seat, partially submerged in a stream in Monmouth County's Shark River Park. The girl's father, 27-year-old Arthur Morgan III, suspected of killing the girl, was arrested in San Diego on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, File)
This file photo provided by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office shows Tierra Morgan-Glover of Lakehurst, N.J., who was found dead in her car seat, partially submerged in a stream in Monmouth County's Shark River Park. The girl's father, 27-year-old Arthur Morgan III, suspected of killing the girl, was arrested in San Diego on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, File)
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SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A New Jersey man accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter by leaving her in a creek still strapped into her car seat, then fleeing to California, agreed Thursday to return to his home state to stand trial.

Arthur Morgan III was arrested at an apartment complex in San Diego on Tuesday, ending a nationwide manhunt a week after authorities said he killed Tierra Morgan-Glover, whose body was found partly submerged in a park in Wall Township, N.J.

An expressionless Morgan walked into his extradition hearing Thursday in San Diego and immediately signed papers waiving his right to extradition. If he had fought his return, it would have delayed his return by as much as 120 days.

The judge ordered him to be returned by Dec. 21 to New Jersey, where his bail was set at $10 million. Deputy District Attorney Sylvia Tenorio said Morgan will likely return before then but she said the exact date will not be made public for security reasons.

He is charged with murder, interstate flight to avoid prosecution and child custody offenses.

Child welfare authorities in New Jersey said they investigated the turbulent relationship between Morgan and his girlfriend, Imani Benton, four times in the past 13 months but could not determine that abuse or neglect was occurring.

Benton’s family accuses the state’s child welfare agency and the court system of not doing enough to help her. Th agency said it is conducting a review of its handling of the case.

The toddler’s body was found Nov. 22 in Shark River Park, about 20 miles north of her home in Lakehurst, N.J. Her cause of death was listed as “homicidal violence, including submersion in water.”

After fleeing New Jersey, Morgan was the subject of a coast-to-coast manhunt and had been featured on the website of “America’s Most Wanted” after the child’s body was found.

The U.S. Marshals Service office in San Diego got a tip from New Jersey authorities on Tuesday that Morgan might be at a home there. Marshals conducted surveillance for most of the day. Morgan was then spotted on the home’s back porch and arrested without incident.

Benton’s mother, Michelle Simmons, said her family is eager to see Morgan brought to justice.

“We want to know why he did what he did to that baby,” she said.

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