Man Charged in New Year’s Day Murder to Appear in Court This Afternoon

Lopez Marittia Rice (Photo: Huntsville Police Dept.)

Lopez Marittia Rice (Photo: Huntsville Police Dept.)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The preliminary hearing for Lopez Rice is scheduled to take place this afternoon at the Madison County Courthouse.

Rice, 24, will appear before District Judge Linda Coats.

Rice is accused of killing 21-year-old Mercedes Morris on January 1, 2014.  Police say he fired shots into a vehicle, hitting Morris.

Officers say they found Morris on New Year’s Day in the passenger seat of a car on Sparkman Drive with a gunshot wound.  She was rushed to Huntsville Hospital, where she died.

Rice showed up to the hearing originally scheduled for last Wednesday.

However, an investigator involved in the case wasn’t available that day, which led to the delay.

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