published Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Embezzlement case stalls against former LaFayette pastor, wife

Question: Whatever happened to the LaFayette pastor and his wife accused of embezzling money?

Answer: A year and a half after Roger and Christi Morgan were accused of bilking a woman who was in their care out of her life savings, prosecutors haven't gone forward with the case in Georgia.

Prosecutors say they still are investigating claims that Christi Morgan stole at least $165,000 from 64-year-old Jackie Humphrey, a distant relative for whom Christi had power of attorney. Roger Morgan was accused of turning a blind eye as his wife bought their 2,500-square-foot house with cash.

Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Alan Norton wouldn't say what was delaying the case but saidprosecutors hope to be finished in a few months.

The Morgans, who shepherded North LaFayette Baptist Church for six years, have been charged in Hamilton County, as well, and that case is getting closer to a trial date. On Friday, the couple was arraigned and assigned separate attorneys.

In the second case the Morgans are charged with theft over $60,000 on allegations that they used Humphrey's debit card for at least $83,000 in purchases and that their 23-year-old son, Christopher, spent $20,000. Christopher Morgan is charged with theft of property.

All are free on bail.

Humphrey's family claims that the Morgans spent nearly $1.3 million of her life savings over three years as well as selling her house without her permission and getting rid of family heirlooms including her grandmother's wedding ring.

The family has a pending civil suit against Christi Morgan.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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