Posted on: October 10, 2022, 05:21h.
Final up to date on: October 10, 2022, 05:46h.
The 30-year-old’s badly charred physique was present in secluded parkland northwest of town of Pontiac in July 2020. Zhao had been zip-tied, sexually assaulted, doused in gasoline, and set on fireplace.
The presence of soot in her airways recommended she had been burned alive, in response to testimony from the medical expert. She additionally had intensive harm to her genital space attributable to blunt pressure.
Prosecutors argued that cellphone data linked Morris to the crime, displaying his cellphone and Zhao’s had been collectively within the hours main as much as the homicide. Investigators tracked the 2 gadgets from the Sherwood Motel in Waterford, the place Morris had rented a room, to the world the place Zhao’s physique was discovered.
The jury additionally noticed video proof from a retailer the place Morris could have stolen zip ties and petroleum jelly previous to the killing. Individually, a gasoline station proprietor testified that he bought Morris a jerrycan of gasoline not lengthy earlier than Zhao was murdered.
There was additionally residence safety footage displaying Morris’ automobile move by a residence half a mile from the crime scene at roughly the time of the homicide. It returned in the wrong way seven minutes later.
Morris had made 1000’s of web searches associated to sadistic intercourse involving kidnap and violence towards Asian girls. He additionally regarded up pornography that concerned encounters in secluded wooded areas.
In his closing argument, lead litigator John Skrzynski described the defendant as “a killer and a liar, a liar and a assassin, a liar and a pervert,” and somebody for whom intercourse “is violence, is loss of life, is inflicting ache, it’s merciless,” as reported by The Oakland Press.
Morris’ protection group argued that a lot of the proof towards him was circumstantial, and due to this fact his guilt couldn’t be confirmed past affordable doubt.
However it took the jury lower than an hour to convict Morris on one depend every of felony homicide and second-degree prison sexual conduct.
He faces necessary life imprisonment when he’s sentenced subsequent month.
A lot-Cherished Poker Participant
Born in China, Zhao grew up in Michigan, the place she had returned in the course of the pandemic after a decade as an expert poker participant in California.
She had internet profession event earnings of $224,671, in response to the Hendon Mob Database, however she was predominantly a money recreation participant. She additionally was a much-loved determine on the California poker scene, the place information of her homicide was met with shock and disbelief.
On the time of her loss of life, she was affected by schizophrenia, in response to courtroom data.