Former Greene Sheriff Willie Morris dead from shot
Greene County's flamboyant five-term former law enforcement head, Sheriff William Morris, 65, has been taken off life support January 28 after what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, NBC29 reports.
According to family members, Morris, who ran for his second term in 1987 with the slogan, "Don't be silly, re-elect Sheriff Willie," suffered from long-term health issues.
A champion weightlifter, Morris set world records in power lifting and won more than two dozen national championships. In September, he suffered an injury that caused tinnitus, which sounded like a constant "buzz saw," says his daughter.
"I hope my death will help bring about some cure for those who suffer from tinnitus by bringing attention to it," he wrote in a suicide note, the Daily Progress reports.
And according to the American Tinnitus Association, there is no cure.
Morris rose to fame in the mid-1980s with such high-profile activities as housing a prisoner in his own home when space at the jail ran thin and holding a bake sale when the County supervisors denied his requested drug enforcement money.
The Board of Supervisors, he told the Hook seven years ago, is a place to see "how much money can you put in your pocket."
This from the man who once arrested one board member's son on charges of wife-beating and another's brother for a DUI– and he said he once chased a supervisor who might have been illegally hunting.
Morris was buried February 1 at Evergreen Church of the Brethren in Dyke.
–updated 9:29pm with news of his death
– updated January 29– Spelling of "Willie" changed.
– updated February 1
– updated February 2