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Darien Police: CBS anchor threatened to kill his wife if released from custody

Rob Morrison, WCBS News 2 morning anchor, outside Stamford Court Tuesday. (Darien Times/Laureen Vellante)

UPDATE Feb. 20, 12:48: Rob Morrison announced today that he has resigned his position as a CBS 2 news anchor, effective immediately, the station announced Wednesday.

“My family is my first and only priority right now and I have informed CBS 2 management that I need to put all of my time and energy into making sure that I do what’s best for my wife and my son,” Morrison said in a statement. “I very much appreciate the opportunity that CBS 2 has given me and I thank them for accepting my decision.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Did CBS news anchor Rob Morrison threaten to kill his wife at the Darien Police station, after being arrested for allegedly choking her?

Det. Patrick Clohassy signed a police report wherein he claims Morrison said he “would kill his wife,” MoneyWatch anchor Ashley Morrison, if he was released from police custody.

• The Darien Times was first to break this story. Read original version here.

When Morrison appeared at Stamford Court early Tuesday, he was met by a swarm of reporters, and claimed he never choked his wife and never struck her. He also reportedly apologized to Darien Police for his actions.

In Morrison’s mugshot, blood can be seen on his face and his lip appears bruised. Capt. Fred Komm told the Darien Times that Ashley “attempted to defend herself, as is her right, thus the facial injuries” to her husband. Ashley refused medical attention, Komm added.

Robert Skovgaard, Morrison’s attorney, told the judge that Morrison and his wife share a desk at the CBS network’s New York office, and that the protective order issued against Morrison should be lifted to allow him to work.

A victim’s advocate, who was unnamed, spoke on behalf of Ashley Morrison, and told the court that Ashley also desired to have the protective order lifted. The order requires Rob to have no contact at all with his wife, and to remain at least 100 yards away from her at all times. The couple also has a young son, and there are no restrictions on Rob visiting him, said Judge Kenneth Povodator at the Tuesday hearing.

The state’s attorney requested the protective order remain in place, given the severity of the charges and Morrison’s history. Povodator agreed, and appeared skeptical of reducing the terms of the order, as requested by Morrison’s attorney.

“The police report indicates a likelihood of a serious history,” Povodator said. “I would tend to err on the side of safety.”

The judge kept the order in place, but allowed the 100-yard rule to be lifted while Morrison is at work. Morrison did not show up to work on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and his absence from the WCBS morning news was not mentioned on air, according to reports. Morrison’s network had a van present at his court appearance on Tuesday.

Skovgaard also urged the court to move his client’s court date ahead, as the March 26 date set by the court doesn’t “fall within the purview of a speedy trial.” That date would determine whether the protective order remains in place or is lifted.

Morrison, a former Marine, has a history of domestic violence incidents going back to 2003, according to the New York Post, including one arrest in 2009. The Post also quoted Ashley’s mother, Martha Risk, who said she was not surprised at the arrest and that her daughter is afraid to leave her husband.

Risk called police at 1:30 a.m. to report the incident, according to police. Some media reports stated that at least four of the domestic disputes between the couple handled by New York police involved Rob Morrison under the influence of alcohol. They moved to Darien in 2011.

Morrison faces felony strangulation and misdemeanor threatening and disorderly conduct charges. His next court date is set for Tuesday, March 26, pending any changes requested by his attorney.

• Domestic violence crimes still remain under-reported

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