Susie Zhao Murder Trial Hears of Defendant’s Kidnap and Porn Internet Searches

1 month ago
Susie Zhao Murder Trial Hears of Defendant’s Kidnap and Porn Internet Searches
07:37
06 Oct

Day three of the Susie Zhao murder trial in Michigan revealed that Jeffrey Bernard Morris, the man accused of Susie’s murder, made hundreds of web searches for extreme and violent porn in the weeks just before and after her death...

Morris is facing a life sentence without parole on two charges of murder, premeditated and felony, for the brutal killing of poker pro Susie Zhao in July of 2020. Michigan is among 22 US states that do not have the death penalty.

An Oakland County courtroom has heard from 17 witnesses over the past two days, ranging from forensic experts to childhood friends of Susie.

Yesterday’s testimony revealed that Morris’s DNA was found inside Susie’s body and that she had been set alight while still alive, after receiving brutal sexual injuries.


Disgusting internet searches

An FBI agent explained to the jury how Morris’s phone internet records were found to have contained searches for violent and sadistic sexual practices, including “fisting” and “punch-fisting”, as well as the words “kidnap” and “Asian” and “extreme”.

Between July 2nd and July 29th, Morris made 382 searches and visited 1915 websites containing those themes and others even more vile. His defence attorney, Michael McCarthy, had no questions for the witness.


Hotel owner reveals unfortunate booking

Earlier in the day, the owner of the Sherwood Motel where Morris and Susie both stayed revealed that, had he been working on the night of her murder, he wouldn’t have allowed Morris to book a room.

Mehanghumar Patel said that his wife, Asmiben Patel, had checked Morris into room 7, unaware that the defendant was on a “do not rent” list for twice previously leaving the room in a mess.


Morris’s car at murder scene

Other witnesses to take the stand as the prosecution wound up their case against Morris included an Audi expert who identified Morris’s car as being the one caught on camera close to the recreation park where Susie’s charred body was discovered.

Mobile phone records also place Morris at the scene of the crime in the early hours of July 13th, and again the defence had no cross examination of this evidence.

Brienne Wyrick gave evidence that Morris took 45 minutes to arrive when she and her fiancée called him for a ride at 1:45am on the morning of July 13th. This intervening period, the prosecution believe, is when Morris was killing Susie and then setting her body alight.


Prosecution rests, Defence offers no witnesses

In total, the prosecution called 17 witnesses over the two days of testimony to support their case against Morris, with the defence calling no witnesses and Morris himself refusing to testify.

With the prosecution resting and no case for the defence being put forward, the court will reconvene at 9am ET on Friday October 6th for closing arguments and jury instructions.


Susie “Susie Q” Zhao Remembered

Born in Beijing, China, Susie moved to the US as a child, attending middle school in Troy, Michigan and then Cranbrook-Kingswood school in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She would later graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois in 2010.

In her obituary, her mother, Fang Dai, recalls her “inborn talents of super memory, mathematics potential and uncommon sensitivity” as leading her to poker, Susie eventually moving to California and playing poker professionally in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Although not a household name, Susie sported various poker sponsorships over the years and picked up more than $220,000 in live tournament cashes, including a 90th spot, $73k cash at the 2015 WSOP.

Susie was also a regular in cash games around LA and appeared several times on the YouTube show “Live at the Bike”, streamed from the Bicycle Casino.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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