STAMFORD, Conn. — Former New York TV news anchor Rob Morrison has pleaded guilty to threatening and breach of peace charges stemming from accusations he choked his wife in their Connecticut home in February.
Morrison's lawyer, Robert Skovgaard, told The Advocate of Stamford (http://bit.ly/13uWeT3) that his client's pleas in Stamford Superior Court on Wednesday could clear the charges from his record if he completes two family violence programs. Skovgaard said his client does not want to prolong the case.
"It is very unusual for any criminal defendant to want to enter a plea of guilty," Skovgaard said. "That having been said, Rob recognized the potential risks in going to trial, and more importantly, he realized that prolonging the case does not serve the Morrison family's interests."
Morrison resigned from his anchor job at WCBS-TV soon after he was charged. He is married to Ashley Morrison, also a TV reporter. The incident happened at their Darien home.
Morrison will not be prosecuted by the state on a strangulation charge if he completes the programs, said Skovgaard, who did not immediately return a call on Thursday. A spokesman for state prosecutors did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Skovgaard said Judge Gary White proposed an offer that will end the criminal court case if Morrison, 45, completes the 26-week Explore program for those involved in family violence and the Family Violence Education program.
Explore is a group-based program for men convicted of domestic violence offenses that focuses on changing behavior through improving conflict resolution and behavior management.
Skovgaard said Morrison will return to court after he completes the Explore program and will then seek to participate in the Family Violence Education.
In court papers, Darien police said last February that Ashley Morrison had red marks on her neck after the encounter with her husband. An officer also said that Morrison threatened to kill his wife if he was released from police custody.
New York City police said they had been to the couple's home 11 times when they lived in Manhattan, including one incident that led to an arrest that was later sealed.
Information from: The Advocate, http://www.stamfordadvocate.com