August 11, 2004
When Mesa police pushed open unlocked door to investigate a possible strangling, they found furniture strewn about the living room, water from a shattered aquarium soaking the carpeting and potting soil all over the floor.
In the bedroom, they found Thomas Morehouse’s body lying under the window and hidden underneath a pile of blankets, clothes and a broken peg board. The electrical cord of an alarm clock radio was in his mouth, wrapped around his jaws and the back of his head.
In new information released Tuesday about his July 31 death, details emerge of the violent struggle that took place that night between he and his wife, Rhoda "Kim" Morehouse, who admitted to strangling him at their apartment in the 2000 block of East Hampton Avenue.
Rhoda Morehouse, 48, remains jailed in Maricopa County’s Madison Street Jail in Phoenix on suspicion of second-degree murder.
A neighbor told police that he saw Rhoda Morehouse through her bedroom window repeatedly swinging a drawer or cabinet overhead and striking something below the window, according to the police report.
He saw her go into the living room, throw more stuff around, and then walk naked to her car and peel out of the parking lot. In a crazed 911 call, she told police that her husband would not stop beating her, so she strangled him.
Before she hung up, she gave conflicting addresses and launched into a tirade when the dispatcher tried to confirm the address.
"No. No. No. Hampton as in pig. Hampton, the pig avenue. He is here. He is dead. I hope he is strangling because if you’re not here, he will be. All right?" she said.
Minutes later, she ran her car up onto a curb at Southern Avenue and Higley Road, screaming that she had just killed her husband.
An autopsy report ruled that Thomas Morehouse, 54, died after the electrical cord pushed his tongue back toward his throat and blocked his airway. The medical examiner also noted that some of his teeth were knocked out and he had blunt force trauma to both sides of his skull.
Rhoda Morehouse told police that the two were happily married but have had domestic violence problems.
According to court records, Rhoda Morehouse filed for divorce in December, but the couple was living together in April when Thomas Morehouse told police his wife slapped him.
Court records show Rhoda Morehouse filed for an order of protection against her husband on May 19, but two days later told a Superior Court judge they had reconciled and were attending counseling sessions.