For Immediate Release - August 19, 2016

SJC Reverses Release of Rowley Man

The request of the Essex District Attorney’s Office to reverse a Superior Court Judge's order to release a Rowley man, who pointed a loaded gun at two police officers, has been granted by a Single Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Michael Morrissey, 59, was ordered held without bail by Judge Allen Swan following a dangerousness hearing at Newburyport District Court on August 5, 2016.  He petitioned the Superior Court for a bail review which was held on August 8, 2016.  Judge Timothy Feeley released Mr. Morrissey on $100 cash bail and ordered him to complete a 28-day treatment program, be monitored by a GPS device and submit to random alcohol screens, while the case is pending.

The Essex District Attorney’s Office filed an emergency petition with a single justice of the SJC seeking reversal of Judge Feeley’s order.

“This defendant was found dangerous and ordered held without bail based upon egregious facts - assaulting his wife, leading police on an 80-mile-per-hour chase at night and pointing a loaded shotgun at two police officers,” Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “We filed this petition out of grave concern for the safety of the public and the victim.”

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Geraldine Hines has reinstated District Court Judge Swan’s order to hold John Morrissey without bail while his case is pending.  Mr. Morrissey is charged with Assault to Murder (2 counts); Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (2 counts); Assault & Battery on a Household Member; Operating While Under the Influence of Liquor; Improper Storage of a Firearm; and Resisting Arrest.

The case is scheduled for a Probable Cause Hearing in Newburyport District Court on August 23, 2016.  The defendant is represented by Attorney J.W. Carney and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.