Fugitive who stabbed Miami-Dade detective in Texas walked 15 feet, died in bullet barrage to head

07/31/2013 4:21 PM

07/31/2013 5:15 PM

Alberto Morales, the criminal escaped from two Miami-Dade detectives while being extradited to Las Vegas in February, died in a hail of bullets fired by Texas authorities, according to his autopsy report.

The report, obtained by CBS4, adds a new level of detail to the story of Morales’ death. Morales’ dramatic escape and violent death captured national attention during his final days as a fugitive.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner found 10 gunshot wounds in Morales’ body, four of them in his head and two in his neck and chest. The shots were fired by three Texas law enforcement officers after Morales jumped at them from behind a tree, according to the report.

The coroner also found numerous healed scars from previous injuries and surgeries, vestiges of Morales’ long and violent career as a criminal, which included arrests for sexual assault, drug possession and stealing and torturing exotic birds.

The report notes that Morales was missing his right testicle and that his genitals were scarred. One of Morales’ lawyers had told reporters during the manhunt in February that, when Morales was in custody earlier in Las Vegas, he had mutilated his genitals and used his blood to write on the walls.

Morales, 41 at the time of his death, was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with his family when he was young.

At the time of his extradition, he had been convicted of sexual assault in both Florida and Nevada and was en route from Miami to Las Vegas in the custody of the Miami-Dade police.

Morales was kicked off a commercial flight after banging his head against other passengers’ seats, at which point the two detectives escorting him chose to drive the rest of the way.

The detectives stopped their rental car outside Dallas to use a Walmart restroom. After one of the detectives left the car, Morales stabbed the other repeatedly with a broken pair of eyeglasses, puncturing his lung and leaving him seriously injured before fleeing.

He then spent nearly five days as a fugitive, handcuffed and shackled and wearing little more than a pair of shorts, before breaking into a home in Grapevine, Texas, and stealing clothes and jewelry.

At least three Texas law enforcement agencies participated in the subsequent manhunt, according to the autopsy report, including a Fort Worth Police helicopter, which spotted Morales in a thickly wooded area next to a lake.

Three officers approached him and ordered him to come out of the woods. Morales “shouted to them that he had a weapon, and then began charging at them in a fast pace,” the report says, citing the accounts of the officers. He “had his left hand clinched and partially concealed from the officers. At that time all three officers began firing.”

The report adds that Morales advanced 15 feet before he was shot dead.

After the autopsy, the medical examiner’s office kept Morales’ body for nearly six weeks while it tried to contact his family.

One of the coroner’s final notes reads: “Considering the incident was on national news and no family or friends have come forward at this time, the decedent is sent out for County burial.”

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