CLINTON, Mo. — The woman police encountered shortly before they were hit by deadly gunfire that killed Officer Ryan Morton and injured two others is now facing a second-degree murder charge.
Tammy Widger, 37, of Clinton, Missouri, has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Officer Ryan Morton, according to the latest court documents.
Widger had already been charged with one count of felony delivery of a controlled substance and one count felony keeping or maintaining a public nuisance.
A Henry County 911 operator sent Clinton police officers to a home at 306 West Grandriver Street where they encountered Widger. On the 911 call, an operator could hear what sounded like two women arguing in the background, but no one was directly speaking to operators.
The 911 call-tracing system indicated the phone from which the call was coming was connected to the Grandriver Street address Widger was at. After further investigation, police realized the call had actually come from Windsor, about 15 miles away.
When police arrived at 306 West Grandriver Street to investigate, they say Widger told them nothing was wrong and that she did not call 911, nor did anyone in the house. Police told her that due to the nature of 911 call, they needed to check the home to make sure no one was in need inside. As they did, police say James Waters, 37, opened fire on them. The gunfire killed Morton, 30.
Once the scene had cleared and as they continued to investigate, police asked for a search warrant to collect evidence from the Grandriver Street home where Morton died. Police say they found Widger’s purse and inside of it was a bag containing what looked like marijuana, methamphetamine and pills.
When they questioned Widger, authorities say she told them she “assisted James Waters” in distributing methamphetamine.’ She further stated that in exchange for this service, Waters paid her bills.