SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local man scheduled to go on trial Monday for multiple simple burglary charges last week accepted a plea deal in exchange for dismissing all other counts.

Morris Edwards III, 44, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of simple burglary, while the court dismissed the other 17 counts.

Edwards has spent a good part of 22 years in jail awaiting trial or serving time for charges ranging from armed robbery and simple burglary to resisting arrest and drug charges.

This particular plea deal involved multiple charges for alleged simple burglaries over two weeks that spanned late August and early September 2021.

Initially, Edwards pleaded not guilty to all 18 charges. However, on Wednesday, he changed his not-guilty plea to guilty in the Sept. 10, 2021, simple burglary of Chings Garden, 3304 Youree Drive. Another simple burglary charge on the same day at Pho Lamour, 530 East Kings Highway, was dismissed.

Caddo District Judge Ramona Emanuel, who sentenced Edwards to eight years of hard labor, also dismissed the following charges Edwards was slated to face on Monday:

August 21, 2021, Simple Burglary:

  • Gamers XP, 1134 Shreveport Barksdale
  • Hungry Wings & Rice, 2525 Southside Drive
  • Tazi Ki’s, 5821 Line Ave.  

Sept. 6, 2021, Simple Burglary:

  • At&T, 889 Bert Kouns
  • Painting with a Twist, 1409 E. 70th
  • Ebony Beauty Supply, 2632 Hollywood
  • Casa Jimador, 4801 Line
  • Kissed by KAD, 3224 W. 70th
  • Jewelry Designs & Repair, 9376 Mansfield Road
  • Air U, 424 Ashley Ridge
  • Spa Concepts, 428 Ashley Ridge

Sept. 8, 2021, Attempted Simple Burglary:

  • Home on Oxford Street

Sept. 8, 2021, Simple Burglary:

  • Connected Bottle, 8982 Mansfield Road
  • Faithful Nutrition, 2605 Mackey Lane
  • In Style Hair & Accessories, 9010 Mansfield Road

A familiar face among law enforcement, as well as at the Shreveport City Jail and Caddo Correctional Center, Edwards has faced more than 40 counts of armed robbery, simple burglary, resisting arrest, and drug charges stemming back to at least 2000.

In and out of jail over the next several years, on Apr. 15, 2014, Edwards was charged with six counts of simple burglary of Franks Pizza, 6950 Fern; a convenience store at 1301 Jewella; Daquiri Express, 6723 Pines Road; Bayou’s Daquiri, 5771 South Lakeshore; Furniture Mania, 1265 Shreveport Barksdale; Highway; and C&V, 7700 Jewella between March 5-10, 2014.

In Sept. 2014, Edwards made a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of simple burglary, with the other four counts dropped. He was sentenced to five years hard labor.

Back on the streets in 2017, on Apr. 15, 2017, Edwards was charged with two counts of simple burglary of Brewinverse at 855 Pierremont and Superior Bar & Grill, 6123 Line Ave., on Feb. 5, 2017; and two counts of simple burglary of Monjuni’s Restaurant, 1315 Louisiana Ave. and Great Raft Brewing, 1251 Dalzell on Feb. 26, 2017.

On Jan. 10, 2019, Edwards was sentenced to nine years hard labor after accepting a deal to plead guilty to one count of simple burglary of Monjuni’s in exchange for dismissal of all the other 2017 charges. However, he was released in time to be arrested on 14 counts of simple burglary over one week in late April 2020.

He pleaded guilty to two of those 14 charges in exchange for the dismissal of 12 in September 2020 and was sentenced to three years hard labor.

Throughout Edwards’ storied career with law enforcement and the district court system, he has yet to face a jury of his peers. Instead, he opted for plea deals that have often resulted in dismissals for the bulk of charges in exchange for guilty pleas to one or two.

His charges reach back through the last three Caddo Parish District Attorneys – Paul Carmouche, the late Charles Scott and current DA James Stewart. A plethora of court-appointed attorneys through the Caddo Parish Indigent Defenders Office have defended him throughout that time.

At different times through the years, Edwards has faced Caddo Parish District Judges Ramona Emanuel, Leon Emanuel, Charles Tutt, Roy Brun and John Mosely.

When sentencing offenders, Louisiana judges must mete out a sentence within the constraints of the law governing the offense. In the case of simple burglary, covered by RS 14:62, a conviction carries a penalty of up to 12 years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines.