Correctional Officer Wayne Thomas "Cotton" Morgan

Correctional Officer Wayne Thomas "Cotton" Morgan

Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee

End of Watch Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Wayne Thomas "Cotton" Morgan

Officer Wayne Morgan was shot and killed outside of the Roane County Courthouse.

Officer Morgan and his partner were loading prisoners into a transport van after a court appearance, when the wife of one of the inmates drove up and opened fire with a shotgun, striking Officer Morgan in the abdomen. Officer Morgan's partner returned fire as the escaping prisoner climbed inside his wife's vehicle.

The woman and her inmate husband, who had served two years of a 35 year sentence for aggravated robbery and aggravated assault, fled the scene in the vehicle but switched cars a short distance away. The were apprehended the next day in Ohio.

Officer Morgan was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

On September 18, 2007, the woman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Her husband was convicted of Officer Morgan's murder and received the same sentence March 9, 2009.

Officer Morgan was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and had served with the Tennessee Department of Correction for 28 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. He is also survived by a brother, niece, and nephew, all of whom work for the Tennessee Department of Correction.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 28 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Hi. I don't know if any of Cotton's family are still reading this, but I'd really like to reach out to you if so. I work for a TV production company in the UK and we're currently making a very sensitive documentary about Cotton, for a major US broadcaster.

I've not been able to make contact with you so far, but I'd really like to keep you abreast of how things are going. It's very clear how special Cotton was to you all and I'd like to involve you as much as possible.

Please do contact me on [email protected] so I can explain more. If there are any colleagues of his reading this that would like to share their happy memories of him, please do get in touch as well.

He was obviously a wonderful family man, dedicated to his job and I'd be honored to get to know him. May he rest in peace.

Rosalind Levine

August 23, 2017

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