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Former Encinitas mayoral candidate Jeff Morris was arrested Christmas Day on domestic violence charges. Courtesy photo
Former Encinitas mayoral candidate Jeff Morris was arrested Christmas Day on domestic violence charges. Courtesy photo
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Domestic violence charges dropped against former Encinitas candidate

Three misdemeanor domestic violence charges against former Encinitas mayoral candidate Jeff Morris were dismissed on April 10 due to insufficient evidence, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

A jury trial was scheduled to begin at 8:50 a.m. on April 10 at the Vista Courthouse, with Morris facing up to 2 years in jail if convicted.

However, the case never went to trial and was eventually dropped from the calendar.

“Despite extensive efforts to locate and personally serve the victim and witnesses, we have been unable to do so,” said Tanya Sierra, spokesperson for the DA’s office. “This case cannot be proven without those witnesses.”

Paul Neuharth, a San Diego attorney representing Morris, told The Coast News he was relieved for his client to have this “very trying situation” over with.

“I’m very happy to have this weight off Jeff’s shoulders,” Neuharth said.

Morris, who was arrested at his home following a family dispute on Christmas Day, pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor domestic violence charges at a Jan. 9 arraignment in Vista Superior Court, including corporal injury to spouse and/or roommate, battery of a current or former significant other, and false imprisonment.

Details of the incident remain unclear due to the sensitivity afforded to domestic violence cases, according to Sheriff’s Department Lt. Chris Lawrence.

Neuharth previously told The Coast News that Morris had attempted to stop an argument between his wife and their 23-year-old daughter, who was visiting for the holidays.

“I know his wife and oldest daughter were having a heated argument,” Neuharth said. “(Morris) got involved in the middle of it, breaking them up. At some point, somebody called the police, and Jeff was arrested. There was no physical violence. He wasn’t fighting with his wife. (Morris) and his wife have a strong, stable relationship.”

In November’s mayoral race, Morris finished third with 24.52% (or 6,969 votes) behind Cindy Cremona (25.5%) and winner Tony Kranz (47%).

For the latest crime reports in Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar, please visit The Coast News’ Weekly Crime Reports. For up-to-the-minute arrest reports in North County, check out Daily Arrest Logs. Read more local crime news here.


Leah Clare April 12, 2023 at 4:25 pm

Jeff Morris is notorious for his vitriolic comments online. It’s not illegal, of course, to hurl insults, but his social media posts, YouTube videos, and comments he writes are indicative of his character. He lashes out and insults women on a regular basis. His behavior is concerning and threatening and he absolutely needs professional help. I hope that his friends and family stop enabling his behavior.

[email protected] April 12, 2023 at 2:55 pm

The DA’s office seems unaware that its explanation of its case’s failure reveals its willingness to prosecute those whom the very law they are charged to enforce is meant to protect. It’s clear on whose behalf the DA is really acting: not the Morris family members, but those who – without evidence or an actual crime – consider Morris a “violent abuser” and did not want him to run for Mayor.

Likewise, despite “innocent until proven guilty”, some of our neighbors believe they somehow possess the omniscience to know exactly what happened at the Morris home on Dec 25, and continue to defame Kim Morris and persecute her family in the name of “getting serious about crimes against women”.

“Get Morris” or “Get Anybody” perverts the justice system and disregards the collateral damage to the multiple innocent.

JB April 12, 2023 at 9:21 am

Sadly, justice was thwarted here. Kim Morris, typical of many domestic violence victims, chose to stay with the man who abuses her. This is the role model their daughters and son have to look up to.

Meanwhile, Jeff Morris continues to verbally abuse other women on social media in the most vile and sexually exploitive terms. Mr. Morris will also have his weapons returned to him. Yes, this unstable and violent individual owns guns.

The sheriff’s have Morris on their watch list and for good reason.

He will now be emboldened to continue his harassment of his perceived enemies, most of them women. Until the justice system gets serious about crimes against women, violent abusers like Morris will continue to abuse, unafraid of consequences.

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