MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – Mountain View police announced an arrest in connection with a cold case murder from more than two decades ago.
Officers on Wednesday arrested 70-year-old Charles Morris of Stockton on suspicion of homicide in the death of Michael Wallace, an inmate and employee at the Work Furlough Center on Middlefield Road. The minimum security facility, where inmates were allowed to leave for the day for work and personal matters, has since been closed and demolished.
According to a report at the time from the Mountain View Voice newspaper, on the night of April 27, 2000, Wallace was standing outside his cell performing cleanup duty when he was struck by a single gunshot that was fired from the front of the building. Wallace was scheduled to be released the following month.
An investigation following the shooting revealed Morris, who was also an employee at the Work Furlough Center, was upset with a colleague he believed was working that night. Police said that employee was not there on the night of the shooting and that a person that looked similar to the employee was standing near Wallace.
The case eventually went cold due to a lack of evidence, police said. Detectives began reexamining the case in 2019.
Police said after thousands of hours of investigation, the case was presented to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, who filed charges against Morris.
Chief Chris Hsiung, who was a detective at the time of the shooting, said in a statement, “It is incredible to see the hard work and dedication over so many years bring about some closure to the Wallace family.”
According to jail records, Morris is being held at the Santa Clara County Jail without bail. Morris was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.