Stephen Morgan packed up all of his belongings Tuesday and told his father he was moving to Newport, R.I.
But police said he had a different plan — to gun down Wesleyan University student Johanna Justin-Jinich. He also wrote in a journal of a killing spree targeting Jewish people and "beautiful and smart" Wesleyan students, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Friday following Morgan's arraignment in Superior Court on a charge of murder.
"Kill Johanna," Morgan wrote the day of the shooting in a journal found at the crime scene, the affidavit states.
"She must Die."
The six-page affidavit offers a glimpse of what Morgan allegedly was doing — and possibly thinking — in the hours leading up to the deadly shooting Wednesday of Justin-Jinich, a 21-year-old junior at the school who police say had been harassed and stalked by Morgan in the past.
The court record also recounts in chilling detail how police said Morgan carried out the attack on Justin-Jinich, of Fort Collins, Colo., who police said was shot several times in the head and body with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol while she worked in the cafe at Broad Street Books.
Citing the serious nature of the case, Superior Court Judge Mary-Margaret Burgdorff Friday raised Morgan's $10 million bail to $15 million during an emotional arraignment hearing.
Morgan's mother and father and two sisters held each other as they sat crying in the gallery. His father, James Morgan, and his sister, Diana, called out "Steve!" as he was being led away by judicial marshals. Stephen Morgan, dressed in a blue jumpsuit, shoeless and shackled, briefly looked back at them.
The afternoon shooting prompted a nearly two-day campus lockdown and nationwide search for Morgan, who, according to a New York City police report, allegedly threatened Justin-Jinich in 2007, when they were attending a New York University summer program.
Morgan, 29, a former Navy petty officer, turned himself in to police late Thursday after public pleas from his family to surrender. Morgan walked into a Meriden convenience store sometime before 10 p.m. Thursday, bought a smoothie and asked a clerk for a phone so he could call police.
Richard R. Brown, Morgan's defense lawyer, said Morgan did not give a statement to police. He called Morgan's bail excessive and said he would argue for a reduction at a May 19 court hearing.
Morgan, Brown said, has no prior convictions, is not a flight risk and the evidence shows there were no other weapons found.
"This is a person that turned himself in when he didn't have to," Brown said.
Moreover, Brown said that Morgan "denies any effort to target the Wesleyan campus or anywhere" in general. Brown said Morgan and Justin-Jinich had been classmates in New York. He said he didn't know if they knew each other before then, or about the nature of their relationship.
"Obviously they knew each other, obviously they communicated with each other — anything beyond that, I don't know."
The warrant sheds little light on the relationship between Morgan and Justin-Jinich. Her father, Daniel Jinich, told detectives his daughter was "having problems with a male stalking her" in 2007. The affidavit cites the New York City Police Department report saying Morgan was harassing and threatening Justin-Jinich through calls and e-mails.
According to the affidavit, James Morgan told police he last saw his son at 11 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday, Stephen Morgan traveled to Connecticut in a 2001 Nissan and checked into Room 206 at the Best Way Inn in Middlefield.
That same day, Morgan shared his thoughts in a composition notebook he kept in a computer bag. Around 11 a.m., Morgan recalls "seeing all the beautiful and smart people" at Wesleyan, according to the affidavit. "I think it okay to kill Jews, and go on a killing spree at this school."
And then he mentions one Jewish person in particular, the warrant states.
"Kill Johanna. She must Die."
At about 1 p.m., witnesses at Broad Street Books reported hearing loud "popping" noises and seeing a man wearing what looked like an ill-fitting wig, a baseball cap and eyeglasses running from the first floor to the basement.
Steven Hebenstriet, the general manager of the store, told police he saw the shooter "do a somersault and then jump off" a conveyor belt in the basement. At one point, the men came face to face. The gunman pointed the firearm at Hebenstriet and warned: "Don't say anything or I'll shoot."
Morgan shed his disguise before police arrived, according to the warrant, and talked briefly to Middletown police Officer William Porter. When questioned, Morgan gave his name and told the officer he was from Boulder, Colo. Police took his information and let him go.
Inside the store, Justin-Jinich lay seriously wounded behind the cafe sales counter, "moaning and shaking." She was taken to Middlesex Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Police found a wig, eyeglasses and a black T-shirt with a handgun wrapped inside it in the building. Outside, Morgan's car was still in the parking lot, the affidavit states. Inside the car, police found a handgun case and ammunition.
Early Wednesday morning, Massachusetts police went to the Morgan's family's home in Marblehead, Mass., where his father identified his son as a man carrying a firearm in a surveillance photo taken at the store at the time of the shooting.
James Morgan told police his son was a loner, quiet and had few friends.
"James said that his son kept a journal and he has known him to make anti-Jewish comments," the affidavit states.
Morgan graduated in 1998 from St. Johns Preparatory School, an all-boys Catholic school in Danvers, Mass.
Outside the courtroom Friday, James Morgan said he talked briefly to Stephen — who has six siblings — after his arrest. When asked how he was doing, James Morgan simply shook his head and declined to comment further.
Brown said that Morgan's parents feel the accusation of murder is inconsistent with the person they know and that they feel "very, very bad" for Justin-Jinich's family. He said his client is also struggling.
"Not that anybody would have any sympathy for him," Brown said.
A few Wesleyan students attended Friday's court hearing.
Justin Bores, a junior from Bethesda, Md., said Justin-Jinich had mentioned Morgan previously, but only in passing. "She was a wonderful person," he said.
His friend, Seth Halpern, a senior from New Haven, said, "I was very close to her, and I felt the need to be here."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times