WATERLOO, Iowa --- The father of one of the missing cousins pleaded guilty Friday to drug charges that could land him in prison for more than two centuries.

Daniel Morrissey's plea canceled a trial that had been scheduled to begin in Davenport on Monday.

But legal troubles appear to be far from over for Morrissey, who is the father of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, who disappeared in July and was found dead in December with her cousin Elizabeth Collins.

Assistant County Attorney Brad Walz said Friday's plea didn't include any charges that could come from a pending narcotics investigation. Walz declined to elaborate in the ongoing probe.

The plea also didn't include misdemeanor domestic violence charges, which are still set for trial, although a date hasn't been set.

Morrissey, 36, of Waterloo, opted to enter guilty pleas to seven meth and marijuana felonies.

“I’m tired of fighting ... I just want to take responsibility for what I’ve done,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey’s drug charges stemmed from three cases and included possession of meth and marijuana with intent to deliver, conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of meth and marijuana and possession of lithium and pseudophedrine with intent to make meth.

The incidents occurred in October 2011, December 2011 and July 2011 before the girls disappeared. Morrissey had been slated to plead to the charges in July 2012, a day before the disappearance, but changed his mind. The court later granted a change of venue to Davenport because of pre-trial publicity surrounding the missing cousins.

Sentencing will be at a later date.

At the maximum, with all of the charges running consecutive with enhancements, Morrissey faces 235 years with a 57-year mandatory minimum before he is eligible for parole.

Morrissey said the enhancements, levied because of prior convictions, were “scaring the crap” out of him, and said he doubted he'd be able to outlive the sentence.

“I feel like I’m in here for a Class A murderer,” Morrissey said, referring to the life sentence for Iowa's murder statute, which is a Class A felony.

A judge could opt for a more lenient sentence, imposing the terms concurrently for 15 years behind bars with a mandatory five-year minimum. The judge could even go one step further and suspend the 15-year sentence to probation, authorities said.

Walz said there was no agreement in connection with plea or the sentencing.

Morrissey remains in custody at the Black Hawk County Jail pending sentencing. He had been out on pretrial release until February when he allegedly violated his release agreement by missing appointments with his pre-trial officer and testing positive for drugs.

(6) comments

averagewhiteguy

I hope the judge shows zero leniency for this person.

nerdgirl

I am happy that Dan has finally accepted responsibility for his crimes.

averagewhiteguy

Really, you think you're being treated like a class A murder. I wonder why.

Brian B

I wonder why he feels like a class A murderer????

reojoe
reojoe

Do our legal experts posting on here know something about his "guilt" involving these two girls that the rest of us don't? Please enlighten us.

unigrad2008
unigrad2008

I agree, what does one case have to do with another? This man needs help for his addictions and the pain of losing kids.

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