- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) - A judge has dismissed six of seven felony charges against State Del. Rick Morris, finding prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward on only one count.

Media outlets report that at a hearing Thursday that reporters were barred from attending, Judge Robert S. Brewbaker Jr. certified to a grand jury one felony charge of cruelty and injuries to children.

Prosecutor Shukita Massey declined to pursue seven misdemeanor domestic assault charges against Morris. She didn’t comment on why the charges were dropped.

According to court documents, the 48-year-old lawmaker is accused of hitting a boy with a belt and wooden spoon, punching him and throwing a hose nozzle at him. It’s not clear whihch incident pertained to the remaining charge.

Morris’ attorney, Nicole Belote, says he doesn’t intend to resign.

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