Ex-Deacon Pulls Guilty Pleas

Daily Oklahoman [Oklahoma City]
April 23, 1993

Claremore - A former church deacon has withdrawn his guilty pleas in connection with the alleged molestation of two children.

Morris Vanderford, 61, told Rogers County prosecutors Wednesday that he changed his mind and wants to proceed with a preliminary hearing in the case. A hearing on the case was scheduled April 29.

Vanderford agreed April 14 to plead guilty to 13 charges of

sexual abuse in exchange for a 60-year sentence with 10 years

suspended and the promise that no additional charges would be filed against him.

Vanderford was suspended after his March 9 arrest from St.

Cecilia Catholic Church, where he was a deacon for seven years and was director of religious education.

He was charged with sexually abusing a boy between January 1992 and January 1993. Two additional charges involving a second boy were filed April 14.


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