Murder Charges to Be Filed Today in Officers' Pipe Bomb Deaths

Times Staff Writer

Murder and other charges will be filed in Van Nuys today in connection with the weekend pipe bomb explosion that killed two veteran police demolition experts, a prosecutor in the case said Tuesday.

But Deputy Los Angeles County Dist Atty. Dino Fulgoni said he could not reveal which of the three suspects currently in custody will be charged, or whether any of them will be charged with multiple counts.

Donald Lee Morse, 36, a film and television makeup man; his brother, Alvin Morse, 34, and their sister, Ernestine Enock, 39, were arrested Saturday after the explosion in Donald Morse's North Hollywood home that claimed the lives of Detective Arleigh McCree, 46, commander of the Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad, and Officer Ron Ball, 43.

Prosecutors have until this evening to charge the suspects, or see them released on a writ of habeas corpus.

Fulgoni said Tuesday afternoon that he "will file something--undoubtedly murder charges, undoubtedly bomb charges, but against whom, I cannot say."

Police officers--using a search warrant--had gone to Morse's home at 6849 N. Vanscoy Ave. on Saturday morning to discuss a shooting attack last week that left Howard Smit, 74, business manager of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Union Local 706, hospitalized with a chest wound. The weapon used in the attack was a .38-caliber handgun.

A few days before the shooting, Morse had stormed into the union office to complain about being fined for delinquent dues. Officers obtained the warrant after learning he had owned a .38-caliber pistol in 1984.

Saturday's search turned up a .38-caliber handgun, but ballistics tests showed it was not the weapon used in the Smit shooting. The search also turned up two pipe bombs in the garage of the home, and McCree and Bell were summoned.

McCree and Bell died when one of the bombs exploded as they were attempting to disarm it. Police have declined to comment about any possible motives or additional evidence in the bomb case.

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