Stephen Morgan, suspected of killing a Wesleyan University junior, appeared in court yesterday, a day after turning himself in. Based on the fatal shooting of Johanna Justin-JinichIn—she was shot in the head and body five times at a bookstore cafe near the Middletown, CT campus—the judge raised his bail from $10 million to $15 million. In spite of his journal's entries—"I think it's OK to kill Jews and go on a killing spree" and "Kill Johanna. She must die"— his lawyer said Morgan, 29, would plead not guilty and was not targeting anyone.
The arrest warrant affidavit (PDF) details how the police discovered a laptop computer bag near where the shooter's wig (the shooter had shed his disguise) was found; inside the bag was the journal and a laptop with the administrator name "Stephen Morgan." Morgan's family was present at the hearing. The Harford Courant reported, "Morgan's mother and father and two sisters held each other as they sat crying in the gallery. His father, James Morgan, and his sister, Diana, called out 'Steve!' as he was being led away by judicial marshals. Stephen Morgan, dressed in a blue jumpsuit, shoeless and shackled, briefly looked back at them."
Justin-Jinich and Morgan had attended the same NYU summer program class in 2007. While their acquaintance was friendly at first, Morgan's behavior became more aggressive and angry, resulting in Justin-Jinich complaining about his harassing calls and emails to NYU Public Safety. Someone who reviewed the emails described them to the NY Times:
One person who has reviewed the messages said the relationship appeared to have begun on a friendly footing. It was clear from the messages that they had seen one another outside of class, going out to eat on a few occasions, said the person, who declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to discuss them publicly.
But the person said that at one point, Ms. Justin-Jinich went away over a three-day weekend, and Mr. Morgan became enraged, sending her e-mail messages asking where she was and why she was not answering his calls.
He began criticizing her, saying she was not so attractive and making an issue of her being half-Jewish, saying that Jewish people are greedy, and criticizing her for wearing what he said were revealing clothes and flaunting her body, the person who reviewed the e-mail messages said. Mr. Morgan suggested that she needed a lot of attention and said she was behaving like a little girl.
When the NYPD became involved, Justin-Jinich declined to press charges, because Morgan had left campus at that time.
The Courant says that Morgan told his father on Tuesday night—the evening before the shooting—that he was moving to Rhode Island. The Times gives more details about Morgan's life, including his privileged background, stint in the Army, and then "struggl[ing], hopscotching from town to town and holding dead-end jobs."