Man and woman accused of murdering Morrow deny involvement

Published 6:28 am Friday, April 30, 2010

FARIBAULT — The man and woman who Chad Jamie Gulbertson accused Wednesday of murdering Jody Lee Morrow gave rebuttal testimony Thursday morning that they were not at Morrow’s trailer the day before or of her death and that they did not do anything to harm the woman.

On Wednesday while on the witness stand, Gulbertson testified he met Albert Leans Joseph Lee and Sandra Nash at Morrow’s trailer and that ultimately Lee bludgeoned Morrow with a hammer and Nash struck her with a knife.

Gulbertson said Morrow came after Lee with a knife during an argument about money Lee owed her, after which Lee picked up a hammer and began attacking Morrow. He alleged Nash picked up the knife from Morrow and stabbed her with it.

He said he told police he had done the act because he felt responsible for it; but in actuality he only witnessed it and did not participate in it.

Prior to the Wednesday testimony, Gulbertson told authorities, friends and family that he had killed his ex-girlfriend. At one time he told a family member Morrow had grabbed a hammer and then a knife and tried to hit him, while at another time he said she grabbed the knife first and he grabbed the hammer in self defense.

Joseph Lee

Lee, a former roommate of Morrow and Gulbertson, testified Thursday that when he moved out of the trailer he offered to pay Morrow $250 toward a high heating bill from when he lived there. He said he was not able to pay her that before she died.

He said the reason he moved out of the trailer was because he was told by his psychiatrist that it would be best to leave because of the conditions there. He was not asked to move out like Gulbertson alleged Wednesday.

Lee said on June 20, 2009, which was the day before Morrow’s death, he was at his friend Randy Merrill’s house until about 5 p.m. From that point on, he walked to his apartment at Shady Oaks and spent the rest of the night there.

He said no one was at the apartment with him, and he did not drink alcohol. He said he does not drink any alcohol.

Lee said he got a call from Merrill the morning of June 21, 2009, telling him that Morrow had died. He estimated it was around 10 a.m. but said he was not sure of that time.

When he heard the news he went to the police station and filed a report based off of his time he lived at the trailer, he said.

Sandra Nash

Nash testified she did not leave her apartment June 20, 2009, and that she had never been to Morrow’s trailer.

When asked if she had done anything to harm Morrow, she replied: “No, no way.”

She said when she and Gulbertson were with each other off and on June 20, 2009, she could have been smoking methamphetamine like Gulbertson alleged, but she thought she did not have any of it left at that time.

Defense lawyers asked her whether she went to a Laundromat the day of Morrow’s death, and she said she did.

She noted she had quite a bit of laundry to wash and used eight machines. She was there three to four hours and estimated she got there in the late morning.

She said she went up to St. Paul for two days to be with her children later that day.

The testimony of Lee and Nash came on the ninth day of testimony in the homicide case against Gulbertson.