Local NewsHomeless Woman Suspected in Austin Stabbing Spree Released on Probation in November

Raeshala Morris, the homeless woman alleged to have stabbed three people last week, has a lengthy criminal history including theft, evading arrest, and assault.
January 27, 2020
Last Thursday night, three people were confirmed stabbed, unprovoked by an assailant who is now in police custody. The alleged offender is Raeshala Raylette Morris.

According to the police report obtained by The Texan, the incident occurred near 611 Neches Street. Three victims are confirmed by the Austin Police Department — of which two are UT students — but Morris reportedly told police she stabbed five people.

Morris is homeless and has a history of committing assault.

According to court records obtained by The Texan, Morris was convicted of assault on a police officer on July 18, 2019. The court sentenced Morris to one year in prison but released her on probation with conditions.

A few months later, on November 8, 2019, Morris’ one-year jail sentence was officially commuted to two years of probation — which the judge declared had been “satisfactorily fulfilled by the defendant.” Morris was then released “from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the crime or offense of which she has been convicted.”

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She appeared in front of the 299th District Court of Travis County.

Judge Karen Sage is the presiding judge of the 299th District Court and issued the commutation.

The assault occurred on March 12, 2019, and according to records, Morris assaulted the officer “using a 2×4 wood board.” This came after witnesses reported Morris had been “threaten[ing] a disabled man with a knife.”

After arriving at the scene, the officer’s testimony stated, Morris moved towards the disabled man and yelled: “‘give me the crack pipe’ several times.” 

When the officer intervened, Morris turned toward him. After picking up a wooden two-by-four, Morris threw it at the officer, striking him in the leg — resulting in “a visible cut and bleeding.” 

From there Morris fled the scene but was apprehended by other officers who found her to be in possession of an “X-Acto utility knife.”

After the initial arrest, Morris was given a $30,000 bond. No record of “personal recognizance” bond was found between the arrest and the court date on July 18.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office does have a record of two release orders, one on July 18 and one November 8 — both stating Morris was to be placed on probation.

According to the Texas Crime Log, Morris has been arrested multiple other times for various crimes.

Governor Abbott tweeted the following in response to the stabbings, “I’ve heard urgent pleas by UT students about increasing lighting and security tools around campus. I shared my expectations to UT leaders & expect results next month.”

Abbott’s response was preceded by UTPD Chief David Carter tweeting, “I was alerted by a Professor of a second student who was attacked by recent knife assailant on 6th st. We notified APD and have connected student to SES for follow on care. Never hesitate to tell someone if u are assaulted. Police will always keep your identity confidential.”

While the two UT students were among those assaulted, the incident occurred on Neches St. — about two miles from campus.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

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