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Toddler's dad in critical condition after apparent murder-suicide attempt

Both survived a plunge into their backyard pool in Kailua

By Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 08:58 p.m. HST, Dec 26, 2013

A 36-year-old Kailua man allegedly attempted to take his 2-year-old daughter's life and his own late Christmas afternoon by jumping into his backyard pool.

Police said the incident occurred between 5 and 5:15 p.m., leaving the man in critical condition. He is suspected of second-degree attempted murder and remained at an area hospital Thursday.

The girl also survived but her condition was unknown.

"The baby was OK," said Ernest Burlen, 79, a neighbor. "EMS took her to the hospital with the father. He wasn't looking too good."

Burlen said the father, Thomas Morton, had his daughter on weekends and holidays and seemed to be a good father and a good uncle to his twin brother's three children, who lived in the downstairs portion of their two-story house at 1288 Kina St.

At the time, Morton's brother and his wife had gone to the airport to drop off their children, who were going to catch a neighbor island flight to visit grandparents.

Another neighbor, who lives on the adjacent hillside, said she heard loud moans before the incident.

"It sounded like someone in a lot of pain," said the woman, 59, who asked not to be named. "I couldn't see anybody. It went on for some time. It sounded like this person was in agony."

She then saw the next-door couple scale the fence. The husband "fished the child out of the water and handed her to the wife," she said.

The husband jumped back into the water and tried to pull the man out of the deep end, she said.

But he struggled to bring Morton to the surface, so the hillside neighbor's husband, 58, ran down to help and managed to pull Morton out of the water. He remained unconscious.

Burlen said Morton was wearing denim trousers, and the child was fully dressed.

"I know he loved the baby," Burlen said. "Something must have set him off."

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Obama in the neighborhood set this guy off. Well he'll be in good care in incarceration, because there's no doubt as to who was harming whom. I hope I got those who and whom correct. Ttyl.
on December 26,2013 | 08:51PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
My god look at those raunchy "More articles and offers". HSA if u r allowing those paid Internet ads, then if u censor my comments, then it's a double standard. Either shut down these comment sections COMPLETELY so we don't HAVE to see those Ads or shut down your Internet site and just go back in the day print edition. This news probably was hot enough to make it into the TV world and we will see soon enough more of it in tomorrow's or the next day's paper. However if u take three minutes to decide if my Obama reference was acceptable, then at least take a day or so before deciding to show some of these out and out almost Hubba Hubba like ads on your website. Good reading and thank goodness for e-mail. ttyl.
on December 26,2013 | 09:01PM
RichardCory wrote:
It's almost 2014. Learn to use Adblock.
on December 27,2013 | 03:28AM
copperwire9 wrote:
What an offensive human being you must be.
on December 26,2013 | 09:32PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well u stole the copper wire so the cops will be after u.
on December 26,2013 | 10:18PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The H-1 viaduct wires that knocked out the traffic cams. I rather be offensive than defensive, otherwise I won't win any Super Bowls. By the way I am 56 years old and my mom died on November 3, 2013. Check out all the obits in this paper and u might find out who I may be. Also, if u voted for Saddam Hussein Obama, then I feel for u. Other then that, with a name like Copperwire9, I would not be so obvious, because Chief Kealoha is looking for u and Bobby Titcomb, u know one of BHO's criminal buddies?
on December 26,2013 | 10:22PM
HanabataDays wrote:
You make quite a counterpoint to copperwire, Mr. Po'ohao Hubble-Bubble. Too bad 50th State Wrestling is off the air or I'd sic Handsome Johnny Barend on yez.
on December 27,2013 | 02:21AM
Anonymous wrote:
"I know he loved the baby… something must have set him of"… ?????? Screw that, Im sorry. When you are a proper father or mother, you do NOT have the instinct to kill YOURE OWN CHILD
on December 26,2013 | 09:18PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Happens for Hippopotamas as seen on NatGeo, and also for many of the animal kingdom, although very unusual for Humans, because for one, we do not canniballize, like they do in many other species. When cannibalistic behavior occurs in our country at least, we have laws to support conviction and incarceration. The biggest examples of violence of course occurs with assassinations of leaders such as Caesar, JFK, McKinley, Lincoln and the near one of Reagan. If Reagan had gone, we might be talking of a Bush dynasty more that we had with GHWB having survived only one term. Then again George HW Bush may not have been reelected as Reagan was, and Clinton may have started his damage in 1984.
on December 26,2013 | 11:54PM
syhud wrote:
SA, is it that important for your readers to know the age of the witnesses? WOW!
on December 27,2013 | 02:49AM
Puna89 wrote:
Hope the child recovers completely and the father gets the help he needs. Sadly, not an uncommon story during the holidays.
on December 27,2013 | 06:15AM
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