Woman allegedly offered family member marijuana, and Camaro to kill ex-boyfriend
Nevada Appeal News Service
Traci Morrison sat quietly at the defense table as a family member testified in Fernley Justice Court Tuesday afternoon that Morrison wanted her ex-boyfriend killed.
“She wanted him dead,” said Robert Buchanan III.
Morrison’s preliminary hearing on charges of solicitation to commit murder was Tuesday. Her ex-boyfriend, Timothy Palos, told the court about the joint custody arrangement the couple had for their two daughters.
However, the custody arrangement became a dispute on June 21, 2007, when Palos’ mother picked up the girls from day care in Reno, unbeknownst to Morrison. Palos testified when Morrison discovered the girls were gone from the day care, she called the police. After he produced paperwork proving his right to the children, the police let Palos keep the girls.
He testified that Morrison called him later that day and said she was returning to court to file papers regarding the custody arrangement.
“She was angry and profane,” Palos testified. “She was being real hateful toward me.”
Buchanan, who is married to Morrison’s cousin, said he received a call from Morrison at his Silver Springs home June 21, 2007, and that she was upset.
“She started to go off,” Buchanan said. “She said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this.’ Basically she wanted him dead. She said that a couple times.”
After overhearing the conversation, Buchanan’s wife hung the phone up, he said. Morrison called back and allegedly threatened to kill her cousin, Buchanan said, before offering him goods to murder her ex-boyfriend.
“She said she had a Camaro, or $1,000 and some herb she could get together,” Buchanan said. “She wanted him killed.”
The next day when she called and asked him to help her find someone to kill Palos, Buchanan said, “I think the Xanax has affected your thought process.”
Buchanan testified that Morrison left messages on both his phone and his wife’s phone, again stating her desire to have Palos murdered. Worried for his safety, Buchanan called Palos and informed him of Morrison’s intentions.
“I thought he ought to know that I don’t want to be involved,” Buchanan said. “I never thought it would go any further than blowing off some steam.”
Palos said he didn’t consider Buchanan a friend before the incident, but he does now.
“He came to me and said, ‘Traci’s trying to kill you. I have some recordings you need to hear,” Palos said. “He saved my life. I would consider him my friend.”
Morrison did not testify at Tuesday’s hearing and declined to answer any questions.
The charge of solicitation to commit murder, a category B felony, carried a penalty of two to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Morrison faces similar charges in Washoe County after she was arrested in July for allegedly soliciting an undercover Reno police officer to kill her ex-boyfriend. She was indicted by a grand jury in October for solicitation to commit murder and faces a jury trial April 7.
Lyon County Deputy District Attorney Brandi Jensen said her department held off charging Morrison with the Lyon County charges to see if she would accept a plea bargain in Washoe County. When she did not, the Lyon County charges were issued.
Morrison faces arraignment on the Lyon County charges April 14 and a pre-trial on April 15.