October 4, 2023
Diane Ramirez and Jeff Miller on the Spectacular Promenade in 2018. (Courtesy Jeff Miller) 

The decide blinked exhausting, forehead furrowed, for what appeared like a really very long time. He rubbed his chin, seemed on the prosecutor, and mentioned she had dropped a “little hydrogen bomb.”

The prosecutor shocked the Riverside County courtroom on Friday, Sept. 1 by asking the decide to dismiss involuntary manslaughter and little one cruelty fees towards Michelle Morris-Kerin, the previous foster mom to the severely disabled.

Morris-Kerin faces practically a dozen felonies, together with “willfully, unlawfully, and lewdly” committing lascivious acts upon grownup dependents “with the intent of arousing, interesting to, and gratifying … lust, passions, and sexual wishes,” in accordance with the indictment.

Deputy District Legal professional Maureen DuMouchel requested the dismissal of two counts as a result of prosecutors are gathering extra proof towards Morris-Kerin and anticipate to refile fees. The decide requested in the event that they meant to refile fees that beforehand had been dismissed, and DuMouchel mentioned sure.

Michelle Morris Kerin (Courtesy of Riverside County DA)
Michelle Morris Kerin (Courtesy of Riverside County DA) 

Morris-Kerin initially confronted second-degree homicide for the dying of foster little one Diane Princess Ramirez, who spent an agonizing evening in Morris-Kerin’s residence, moaning and vomiting blood. Regardless of particular directions to get the lady to the emergency room if that occurred, Morris-Kerin refused to name 911 for some seven hours whereas Ramirez’s important indicators fluctuated and her pores and skin grew chilly to the contact. Morris-Kerin insisted the lady could be superb, in accordance with a state report.

Ramirez had cerebral palsy, seizure dysfunction and different challenges, in addition to an indomitable spirit and mischievous humorousness. She’d place pretend spiders in her locker to scare the lecturers who helped her open it, was a junior assessed at grade degree at Murrieta Mesa Excessive Faculty, noticed her “prom-posal” to quarterback Jeff Miller make the TV information. She was 17 when she died on April 6, 2019, of “volvulus,” a twisted gut that reduce off blood provide to her bowels.

Riverside Superior Court docket Decide Timothy F. Freer threw out the homicide cost in April 2022, saying the District Legal professional’s workplace did not current convincing proof that Morris-Kerin’s inaction considerably contributed to Ramirez’s dying.

“The proof established by specialists was, on the whole, volvulus may be handled by surgical procedure, and the earlier the higher,” the decide mentioned then. “There was no proof that the volvulus that troubled Diane was one which might be handled, or one that might have been deadly it doesn’t matter what.”

That lacking piece is outwardly what the D.A. is pursuing.

This 2002 file photo shows Larry Kerin with Vicky, one of the special needs children that he and his wife Michelle Morris adopted over the years. Andy Templeton / Photo For Orange County Register
This 2002 file picture reveals Larry Kerin with Vicky, one of many particular wants youngsters that he and his spouse Michelle Morris adopted over time. Andy Templeton / Photograph For Orange County Register 

‘Case of such magnitude’

Morris-Kerin and her husband Larry Kerin had been within the courtroom Friday when Freer dismissed the 2 fees and so they all discovered extra could also be coming. Each listened attentively, whereas Brian Cosgrove, the general public defender representing Morris-Kerin, appeared to deflate a bit on the D.A.’s information.

Kerin was by no means charged with homicide or manslaughter — these had been for Morris-Kerin alone — however Kerin is charged with little one neglect associated to Ramirez’s dying in addition to lewd and lascivious conduct.

Prosecutors anticipate to have their investigation full in January, DuMouchel mentioned. Decide Freer requested everybody to return to court docket on Jan. 26 for extra hearings, with trial tentatively set for late February. It might final six weeks, Freer mentioned.

“This can be a case of such magnitude we wish to ensure that, legally, we get it proper,” he mentioned.

Controversy has dogged Morris-Kerin throughout two counties for many years.