WCBS news anchor resigns in aftermath of strangulation charge
WCBS-TV anchor Rob Morrison resigned from his position Wednesday, after he was charged with trying to strangle his wife in their Darien home.
In a statement released by WCBS-TV, Morrison stated, "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. I very much appreciate the opportunity that CBS 2 has given me and I thank them for accepting my decision."
Morrison is facing charges of second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct following a domestic violence incident with his wife, Ashley, also a CBS news anchor, at their Darien home.
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, Darien police received a phone call from Morrison's mother-in-law reporting that there was a domestic altercation occurring at her daughter's residence.
Upon arrival, police officers ascertained, according to the report, that Morrison had become increasingly belligerent toward his wife during the course of the evening culminating in his choking her by the neck with both hands. Police said officers observed red marks on the victim's neck. While being processed on the charges, said police, Morrison made verbal threats to do his wife harm.
His mugshot, issued by the Darien Police Department, shows a stream of blood on the bridge of his nose and what looks like a bruise on his lower lip.
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Morrison posted $100,000 bond Sunday.
He arrived in Stamford Superior Court at about 11:30 Tuesday morning. The news media swarmed him in front of the courthouse but he didn't answer questions after giving a brief statement. Dressed in a blue striped suit, Morrison had a slight tremor in his hands as he took off his belt and emptied his pockets to pass through the metal detector.
Judge Kenneth Povodator issued a change in a protective order against him. There is also a no-contact ban between the couple.
The order states that Morrison cannot be within 100 yards of his wife, except in the workplace. He did not offer a plea and is scheduled to appear in Stamford court again on March 26.
"She wants to still be able to work," said attorney Steve Mandel, who represents Ashley.
Attorney Robert A. Skovgaard, representing Morrison, told Judge Povadator that the 100-yard ban would make working difficult because Morrison and Ashley work at the same desk.
A victim's advocate for Ashley told the judge that she also wanted the no-contact ban lifted. However, it was not granted. There is no protective order against their son Jack.
"The police report not only reflects a serious incident but a likelihood of a serious history, and on that basis, I would tend to err on the side of safety," Povodator said.
"I did not choke my wife, I've never laid my hands on my wife," Morrison told reporters outside the courthouse. "I was just as surprised by that particular charge as probably everyone else."
Morrison, his wife and their son moved into their 221 Hollow Tree Ridge Road home in Darien in 2011, according to property records.
"Rob and Ashley Morrison are cooperating fully with the authorities to ensure that all of the information necessary to properly evaluate this unfortunate incident is made available," Skovgaard said Monday in a statement issued on the couple's behalf. "The Morrisons are confident that a full review of this matter will show that the allegations have been greatly exaggerated. While this matter is being addressed, Rob and Ashley hope that their family's privacy will be respected."
Morrison has more than 20 years of experience in broadcast news, starting his career as a combat correspondent while he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
For almost 10 of those years, he was an anchor and reporter at WNBC-TV. Morrison has anchored the Emmy Award-winning morning show Today in New York and has appeared regularly on NBC's Weekend Today and MSNBC.
He currently works for New York Station WCBS-TV and anchors CBS 2 News This Morning and At Noon.
His wife, Ashley Morrison, served as an air anchor/reporter with Bloomberg television from 2007 to 2009. She is currently an anchor for CBS MoneyWatch.
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