Rob Morrison, the New York television anchorman charged after he allegedly choked his wife and threatened to kill her at their Darien home, has resigned from his CBS job.
"My family is my first and only priority right now and I have informed CBS 2 management that I need to put all of my time and energy into making sure that I do what's best for my wife and my son," Morrison said in a statement Wednesday. "I very much appreciate the opportunity that CBS 2 has given me and I thank them for accepting my decision," he said.
According to the Daily News (http://nydn.us/Ya6GZO), WCBS-TV officials had summoned Morrison for a Manhattan sitdown following the flood of negative publicity over the wild weekend fracas. Officials at WCBS were livid that the "News at Noon" anchor allegedly lied to them about the bruises on his face when he came to work Monday, sources told the Daily News. He "misled station management and has made a horrible situation even worse," the source said. It is unclear what Morrison told his bosses about the incident, the Daily News reported.
The abrupt resignation came a day after a judge issued a protective order Tuesday against a New York television anchorman to stay away from his wife after a weekend incident in which he allegedly choked her and threatened to kill her at their Darien home.
On Tuesday, the CBS Channel 2 news anchor appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford, and prior to his arraignment he denied trying to choke his wife, Ashley Morrison, who works as a television journalist for CBS MoneyWatch.
"I did not choke my wife, I've never laid my hands on my wife," Morrison told reporters as he arrived outside the courthouse. "I was just as surprised by that particular charge as probably everyone else."
The order issued by Judge Kenneth Povodator allows the couple to continue to work together, but prohibits Rob Morrison from coming within 100 yards of his wife at any other time.
Povadator also granted Morrison, 44, an hour to gather his belongings from the couple's Hollow Tree Ridge home.
Morrison's attorney, Robert Skovgaard, did not enter a plea on behalf of his client on the charges of second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct. Morrison is scheduled to return to court March 26.
Steven Mandel, the attorney for Ashley Morrison, who did not attend the hearing, agreed to the terms of the protective order granting a workplace exemption for her husband.
"She wants to still be able to work," Mandel said after the hearing.
Darien police were called to the couple's house at approximately 1:30 a.m., Sunday after they received a phone call from Morrison's mother-in-law reporting a domestic altercation occurring at her daughter's residence.
Police said Morrison had become increasingly belligerent toward his wife during the course of the evening, culminating in his choking her with both hands.
Police said officers observed red marks on Ashley Morrison's neck.
According to arresting officer Patrick Clohessy, Morrison "threatened that if he was released from police custody, he would kill his wife," a handwritten note inside his court file said. As a result of his admission to police, Morrison, who has one son, was not released until he posted a $100,000 court appearance bond Sunday morning.
One source, who asked not to be identified, said the Massachusetts native told him Sunday morning that he and his wife got into a fight over pictures the two had up on their Facebook pages. The source said Morrison told him that his wife hit him and he sent a picture of his bleeding face to his in-laws in hopes they would be able to quell their daughter. Ashley Morrison was not arrested or charged in the disturbance.
His mugshot, issued by the Darien Police Department, shows a stream of blood on the bridge of his nose and what looks like a bruise on his lower lip.
Morrison, his wife and their son moved into their Hollow Tree Ridge Road home in Darien in 2011, according to property records.
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