Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Former stockbroker convicted of murdering Denver radio host

November 9, 2011 |  4:02 pm

A former stockbroker was convicted of murder for financial gain in the 2006 shooting death of a popular Denver radio host whose body was found in the waters off Santa Catalina Island, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Steven Bailey Williams, who in the early 1980s was a popular drive-time radio host, was handling his deceased father's estate when he met Harvey Morrow, who introduced himself as an investment banker from New York who knew his father.

Williams asked Morrow to set up a trust fund for the sale proceeds of the father's Corona del Mar home, which was valued at more than $1 million and part of an estate worth $2.4 million.

It was that money that led Morrow to slowly bilk Williams and then to kill him, prosecutors said.

Morrow allegedly used a large chunk of money from the Williams' estate to overhaul a yacht he owned, outfitting it with a fireplace, a teak deck and $100,000 worth of electronics.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Morrow deposited nearly $2 million from the estate into a bank in the British Virgin Islands. He then would regularly withdraw the money in small increments from the offshore account and place it under his name in a U.S. bank.

Initially, Williams attributed Morrow's spending to his success in the banking world. In addition, the two had planned to sail the world and had lived together in residences in Corona del Mar and San Pedro.

But Williams, who supported himself through voice-over work, grew suspicious about his friend's activities after other friends began to ask about his inheritance.

Williams told one friend that he was going to confront Morrow and get his money back as soon as Morrow returned from a fishing trip to Bishop in Northern California. Another friend, Leo Rossi, told authorities that Williams was upset because he was "trying to get money from Morrow and couldn't."

The last person to see Williams alive was a boat owner at the marina on May 7, 2006. When friends asked about Williams' whereabouts, Morrow told them that Williams had moved to Hawaii. Then Morrow disappeared.

In fact, Harvey Morrow relocated to Great Falls, Mont., and took a job at a car dealership. He told a co-worker that his wife had died in a boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean so repulsed him that he moved far away to Big Sky Country to start over.

"Just the view of water was too much for him to take," Joe Parsetich, the manager at Pete's Auto Sales, told The Times in 2006. "In a very calm, somber tone he told me it held too many memories of his wife and the loss of their boat."

Parsetich, a former police officer, was curious enough about his colleague's former life to Google news coverage about the death. An Internet story posted by a Denver news station described Morrow as a "person of extreme interest" in the Williams slaying.

He then contacted a friend at the Cascade County Sheriff's Department and a week later, Montana and Los Angeles County authorities took Morrow into custody at the dealership.


Conrad Murray explains why he didn’t call 911

Mountain lion spotted in broad daylight in Burbank

FULL COVERAGE: Occupy protests around the nation

-- Andrew Blankstein