SALEM – A 58-year-old Salem man on parole was charged Monday in Marion County Court with multiple felonies and traffic violations stemming from a high-speed pursuit Sunday night across two counties.
Earl Morlan remains in the Marion County Jail where he reportedly was causing a disturbance before court Monday so his arraignment has been continued until Tuesday.
Morlan is charged with Class 2 felony possession of a stolen vehicle, and two class 4 felonies for theft of motor fuel and aggravated fleeing police at more than 21 miles per hour over the speed limit.
He’s additionally charged with a half dozen traffic violations for the alleged pursuit that started shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday near Ina and continued from Jefferson County into Marion County where he struck spike strips deployed on Route 37 and finally stopped on Mills Cart Road.
Morlan is accused of taking a Chevy F-150 truck for a test drive Saturday in Kinmundy and never returning the vehicle.
The car he left at the residence in Kinmundy had previously been reported as stolen from Salem.
The theft of fuel charge came after he allegedly failed to pay for fuel in the truck at a Central City gas station.
At the time of his arrest late Sunday night, Morlan was on parole from the Illinois Department of Corrections on a 2019 conviction out of Marion County for possessing a stolen vehicle.
He was sentenced to 3 ½ years but was released to parole in October 2020.
Morlan was convicted in 2017 of stabbing the Marion County Sheriff’s Office K-9 dog Valor.
Deputies had responded to a call of Morlan standing in the yard of a home with a gun and threatening to kill everyone.
When he fled into the nearby woods he warned deputies he had a gun and would kill them.
Valor was then sent in to the woods to apprehend Morlan and Morlan subsequently stabbed the dog in the neck multiple times.