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Serial Sex Offender Jeffery Morris Gets Life Sentence For Burning Alive Susie Zhao Professional Poker Player

Morris had previously been convicted of a sex crime
Oakland County Jail

Jeffery Morris, a convicted sex offender who brutally raped and burned alive professional poker player Susie “Susie Q” Zhao, was sentenced to life in prison. According to reports, Jeffery Morris was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday. Less than a month earlier, Morris was found guilty at trial of first-degree murder and felony murder in the commission of second-degree criminal sexual activity.

Less than an hour was needed for the jury to reach a decision. When given the chance to speak during his sentence, the 62-year-old offender chose not to, although he did say he planned to appeal the ruling. The murderer who had been found guilty addressed the judge, saying that he would return for an appeal. The case was “one of the most excruciating trials” in judge Martha Anderson’s career, she said.

Jeffery Bernard Morris
Michigan Sex Offender Registry

Zhao, a rising star in the world of professional poker, left Los Angeles and moved to Michigan in June 2020 to live with her mother and stepfather. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia as an adult. Her mother last saw her on July 12, 2020. Her burnt remains were discovered the following day in a wooded area of the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Oakland County.

The prosecution claims that Morris, a homeless man convicted of a sex offence in 1989, met Zhao at a hotel in Waterford Township where she usually stayed before engaging in what has been called a perverted sexual fantasy involving bondage.

Susie Zhao

On July 12, 2020, they reportedly connected at a motel in Waterford Township where she frequently stayed. Zhao was severely raped, with her genitals being damaged, tied with zip ties, drenched with gasoline, and burned alive, according to the evidence. While still alive, she was tied up with zip ties, poured in gasoline, and set ablaze. Zhao’s body was so severely charred when it was found by two guys that at first, they believed it to be a Halloween joke or a burned mannequin.

The defense emphasized the unidentified male DNA discovered during the inquiry and claimed that investigators overlooked tire tracks at the location. However, Morris was detained in August 2020 after authorities used phone data to link him to the spot where Zhao’s body was discovered.

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