Salisbury man charged with murder at Rockwell residence

Published 5:05 pm Sunday, March 13, 2022

ROCKWELL – Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 60-year-old man with murdering a woman with a gun on Saturday.

Melvin Douglas Morton was charged with murder and felony possession of a firearm by a felon on Sunday in connection to an incident around 7:40 p.m. on Saturday. Deputies met Morton in the living room of the residence at 1980 Cannon St. and found the body of 48-year-old Kristy Rothwell Hiatt in a bedroom.

A press release from the sheriff’s office said Hiatt was the “obvious victim of a gunshot wound.” A warrant for Morton’s arrest alleges he was in possession of a .22 revolver. He is being held at Rowan County Detention Center with no bond.

Morton has not been convicted of a crime since 1997, but has a long list of crimes attributed to him starting in the 1970s.

In 1977, he was convicted for assault with a deadly weapon in Rowan County. In 1982, he was convicted of breaking and entering, common law robbery, armed robbery carrying a concealed weapon and larceny, all in Rowan County.

In 1988, he was convicted of escaping from prison in Forsyth County. In 1990, he was convicted for driving while impaired and driving while his license was revoked. He was convicted for driving while impaired again in 1997.


About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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