October 20, 2009 9:23:00 AM
COLUMBUS -- Robert Triplett, stepfather of missing Lowndes County woman Kaila Morris, remains in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center awaiting his hearing for violation of probation.
Triplett was arrested Oct. 3 by the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office on charges of exploitation of children. The arrest stemmed from pornographic images of minors retrieved from family computers during the course of the LCSO''s investigation into Morris'' disappearance.
LCSO Investigator Tony Cooper says the office has yet to receive a subpoena for Triplett to appear for a hearing. Triplett remains on probation following a 2003 sexual battery charge, which was reduced to aggravated assault in 2007, in Jackson County. He was denied bond on Oct. 6.
Triplett, 56, of 181 Golding Road in Columbus, was the last person to see Morris, 21, before her disappearance from the Golding Road residence Sept. 17. He was also found guilty of forcible rape in Covington, La., in December 1997 and sentenced to serve six years in prison. Those charges were remanded for rehearing in 2001 and reduced to simple battery; after the victim in the case refused to testify, the charges were dismissed.
Triplett served six months in jail and was ordered to pay the victim a settlement of $50,000.
Cooper is awaiting further reports from the Columbus Police Department crime lab on other computers seized from Triplett''s home.
"There''s another (computer) we''re supposed to be keying in on," said Cooper.
Pending those reports, Cooper says the case against Triplett has not changed. No evidence has surfaced to directly link Triplett to Morris'' disappearance.
Tony Perkins, lead LCSO investigator on the Morris case, says no significant new information has been discovered to aid in the search for Morris.
An interested person commented at 10/21/2009 8:31:00 AM:
What is being done in regards to a parallel investigation into Kaila's disappearance. As I understand it from family and friends....the police aren't actively pursuing Kaila's disappearance since arresting Mr. Triplett on the probation violation charges. Why? It would appear the police have made their decision in regards to "where's Kaila" with Mr. Triplett's arrest. Why? By all reports, Kaila had a good relationship with her stepfather. What happened to "innocent until PROVEN guilty...and why aren't the police being more active in trying to find Kaila?
Vickie Bolton commented at 10/21/2009 5:51:00 PM:
Please get your facts straight before you print an article and influence the minds of the public. The following information was obtained from the New Orleans newspaper The Times Picayune and court accessible records. Robert Triplett, Jr. was booked on June 19, 1996 for aggravated rape and false imprisonment after he allegedly raped a woman on May 31, 1996. He was indicted by the St. Tammany Parish grand jury in Covington, Louisiana on June 21 of the same year.
His trial started on May 27, 1997 for aggravated rape. The false imprisonment charge was dropped by the trial date. The alleged weapon was a pocket knife, a small, dress knife, which he carried in his pants pocket on a regular basis. On Tuesday, May 27, 1997, the trial began. On May 30, 1997, the trial was over. After a jury deliberation of four and a half hours, the jury convicted him of the lesser charge of forcible rape. State Judge Patricia Hedges ordered Triplett, who had been free on a $100,000 bond, to the St. Tammany Parish jail to await sentencing September 9 . He was released from the St. Tammany Parish jail on June 18, 1997. He served 20 days in the parish jail, not the six months you have previously accredited him with. The $150,000 bond, pending appeal, was provided by his ex-wife Vickie Triplett, who pledged as her security her home in Covington.
On or about February 15, 2000 defendant's conviction and sentence were vacated and set aside buy the First Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter entitled State of LA v. Robert W. Triplett, Jr., docket #98/KA/2610, and this matter was remanded back to this Honorable Court (22nd Judicial District Court, Parish of St.Tammany, State of Louisiana.). Robert Triplett had won his appeal. This has not been mentioned in any of your articles.
On September 28, 2001, the State of Louisiana, through the District Attorney's Office for the Parish of St. Tammany, ammemed the indictment previously issued herein to simply battery. On the same date the defendant entered a plea of guilty to the charge of simple battery and was sentenced accordingly. He did submit to her attorneys a sum of $50,000.
Post-conviction, on December 19, 1997, State Judge Patricia Hedges sentenced Triplett to 6 years in prison--which he did not serve, and has not been reported as such in this newspaper.
Now that the facts are straight--WHAT HAPPENED TO KAILA MORRIS? Have the law enforcement officers quit looking for Kaila because they think Robert Triplett, Jr., has had something to do with her disappearance? We DON"T know what happened to Kaila! How can there be evidence that points to her step-father. His sexual past has nothing to do with Kaila's disappearance. Her mother, relatives, and friends, want to find her, want to know what has happened to her. Robert Triplett, Jr. has none of those answers.
Kaila''s brother commented at 10/22/2009 2:13:00 AM:
its about darn time somebody says it, i just want to find my sister and i think the police show no interest in looking for her anymore!!!!
Kaila''s Sister commented at 10/22/2009 2:38:00 AM:
they claim they're doing all they can. I WANT HER BACK! it's been over a month and how many people have they questioned other than Mr. Triplett? i could probably count them on 2 hands. Its just not right. It feels like they want someone to call in saying that they found her body instead of doing their jobs and looking at all the possibilities.
Vickie Bolton commented at 10/22/2009 8:51:00 AM:
Keep a few numbers in mind--the Lowndes County Sheriff 662-329-5791, the Columbus Police Department 662-327-0837, the Columbus office of the FBI at 662-328-5299, and the MS Bureau of Investigation 601-987-1560. Make all these separate law enforcement groups SHARE info and play well together! Call them and find out WHAT HAPPENED TO KAILA MORRIS!
family friend commented at 10/22/2009 1:18:00 PM:
Is Vicki Bolton the ex-wife? And to the best of my knowledge Kaila doesn't have a brother or a sister. Kaila is an only child.
Vickie Bolton commented at 10/22/2009 2:39:00 PM:
Yes, "family friend" who won't give your name, I am THE ex-wife, Robert Triplett's ex-wife. I was the ex-wife when the alleged rape took place in Louisiana. I lived through the trial, the parish owned my house for 4 years, my child's life was threatened, I helped write the winning appeal, and that is why I have the newspaper info, court documents, and dates. I have a problem with incorrect and incomplete information being printed in a newspaper and affecting public opinion. You also should be aware that you don't have to be born into Kaila's family to be her brother or sister. You CHOSE that title because you were a good friend. You loved her. You consider yourself her sister or brother AND YOU WANT HER HOME LIKE WE ALL DO. So step up to the plate "family friend" and see what you can do to get the attention focused on Kaila again so we can get her back.
i promise commented at 10/22/2009 3:19:00 PM:
I can assure you that there is work being done at the sheriffs dept. to find her.
Vickie Bolton commented at 10/22/2009 3:43:00 PM:
Thank you i promise!
Kaila''s Sister commented at 10/22/2009 10:18:00 PM:
thanks Miss Vickie. Bout time somebody but the facts straight.
Kaila''s Sister commented at 10/22/2009 10:19:00 PM:
sorry...typing error...PUT the facts straight.
Vickie Bolton commented at 10/23/2009 1:17:00 AM:
Thank you for thinking that I hope I corrected the misinformation and the info not reported. I want to hear from "family friend" who did not have the nerve to use their real name. I want them to realize that you have the family you are born into, and the family YOU CHOOSE! You chose Kaila as a sister because you love her and you chose her as a sister, the family you select, not the family you were born into! LET'S FIND KAILA!
1. New SOCSD superintendent pledges to create '21st century school district' in Oktibbeha STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
2. Man gets life in prison for capital murder of Lowndes teen COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Columbus mayoral race gets ugly COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY