PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A teenager accused of beating a friend to death with iron frying pans is now charged with possessing child pornography and first-degree murder.
Pierce County prosecuting attorneys say Michael Breer, 18, savagely beat Justin Morris to death using iron frying pans and a golf club at his South Hill home last week, then disposed of his body. His remains have not been found, and investigators said Breer refuses to talk about the crime or where Morris’ body was taken.
Morris’ father, Shannon Morris, stood up at the window of the secure courtroom as Breer entered pleas of not guilty to the charges, staring intently at Breer.
“I’m hoping he breaks for the family’s sake. We need to start some closure in this a little bit. He needs to talk,” Morris said.
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist added a charge of possessing child pornography Friday after detectives said they found sexually explicit images of boy on Breer’s cellphone. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in superior court, investigators also found a number of photographs depicting boys in sexually suggestive poses wearing underwear, as well as explicit pictures of adult men. The affidavit states Morris had borrowed Breer’s cellphone shortly before he was murdered.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Penner said investigators have not determined if the photographs have anything to do with the motive for Morris’ death.
“We’re not going to rule it out, but I’m not saying that that’s the motive at this time,” Penner said.