Seth Morton, a suspect in the Garberville home invasion of his mother's home had a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 1. It was finally held July 8 and went on for three mornings. Seth Morton was held to answer on all charges, except Count 3, which was a burglary charge.
Deborah Morton testified in the preliminary hearing for his co-defendant Bret Swortzel and since that is testimony linked in the Swortzel post below, I have only included Eversole's testimony in this post. Deborah Morton's testimony describes masked men entering her home, a struggle with her partner.
DDA Stacey Eads prosecuted the case. Mr. Kevin Robinson from the Public Defender's office was appointed to represent Swortzel.
Douglas Eversole said Deborah Morton is "my girlfriend, my life partner." They have been together for 7 years, although we have known each other since 1984. Eversole said he had known Seth Morton since he was a baby.
On February 20, they went to the park to visit with Deborah's grandchildren and Seth Morton's ex-wife. When they returned home, their laptops, camera, back up computer drives and truck were missing. Eversole was very detailed in his description of the items and where they were placed.
He said he always leaves his keys in the truck and it is parked behind a locked gate. "We have never had any issues in 32 years." He looked at Seth Morton when he was describing the items and said, "He went and took them." Eversole said that he had shown Seth Morton the camera thinking that Seth Morton might "want pictures of his kids who he had not seen in years."
Eversole said that they never locked their doors because "we live so far from town. Six and a half miles one way on a road. You have to drive past 15 parcels." Eversole added, "We don't have problems in our community."
Eversole said that Seth Morton did not have permission to be in the house or use the truck. "Because he started doing speed again, wouldn't see the kids, his wife had a restraining order against him." Mr. Robinson asked that the last part about the restraining order be stricken from the record.
Eversole said Seth Morton had not been to see his mother in 13 months. "I didn't have a relationship with him. He was there for his mother. She wanted him there really bad."
All their stuff was recovered except for a hand held radio and rechargeable battery on February 22, the truck was found near Harris and Alderpoint Road. Seth Morton was arrested.
Deborah Morton's testimony picks up on the night of March 3. Before they went to bed, they noticed a vehicle down the hill parked with lights on. Eversole said Deborah Morton "remarked on it but he brushed it off as it probably being kids."