After more than 20 years, a suspect has been arrested in connection with a cold case homicide that may have been the result of a mistaken identity.
Around 10 pm on April 27, 2000, Michael Wallace was shot once in the chest while completing work at the Work Furlough building at 590 E. Middlefield Road. The Work Furlough building was a place for convicted criminals to serve their sentences, but they could leave during the day to go to work and tend to their personal matters. The work furlough building was razed in 2011.
That night, Wallace was standing outside his cell when the single shot went through the glass window near the front of the building, hitting Wallace.
Over the course of the next several months, investigators learned that a Work Furlough employee, Charles Morris, was upset with another employee who he thought was going to be working on the night of the shooting. According to witnesses, prior to the shooting, an argument between Morris and that employee became so heated, it was described as almost becoming physical.
But on the night of the shooting, the employee who Morris was upset with was not there. However, another individual there that night who appeared similar in physical description to the employee was standing in the lobby of the building while Wallace was standing down an adjoining hallway.
While a thorough investigation was done at the time, detectives were unable to develop sufficient evidence to move forward with the investigation. As a result, the case eventually went cold.
In 2019, Mountain View detectives began to re-examine the case, and the possible suspect, Charles Morris, who now resided in Stockton, California.
During two years of additional investigation, Mountain View detectives re-interviewed witnesses, examined evidence and the crime scene details, and identified new information regarding the investigation. Through the thousands of hours of investigation, detectives obtained additional evidence consistent with Mr. Morris’ involvement in this crime. The case was presented to the District Attorney’s Office who ultimately filed charges for homicide.
On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Mountain View detectives arrested Charles Morris, 70, at his home in Stockton on suspicion of homicide.
“I remember this case well – I was a detective at the time and assisted in this investigation,” Chief Chris Hsiung said. “It is incredible to see the hard work and dedication over so many years bring about some closure to the Wallace family.”
“This is the second cold case our Crimes Against Persons Unit has been able to close this year,” added Captain Saul Jaeger. “This team’s tireless efforts reinforce how much Mountain View police are dedicated to bringing justice to victims and their families.”
A sincere thanks to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, the Stockton Police Department, and SCCSET for their assistance.
Media requests can be sent to PIO Katie Nelson at email@example.com.
Victim Michael Wallace
Suspect Charles Morris