AUGUSTA – Three members of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office will receive awards from the Maine State Police on Friday for their role in the capture of a convicted felon in January.

Deputy William “Bill” Nelson will receive the Meritorious Service Award, while Cpl. Justin Brown and Deputy Michael Halacy will each receive a Special Award of Commendation. The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Maine Department of Public Safety offices.

The two agencies, along with the Paris and Rumford police departments, assisted with the search for 27-year-old Derrick Morrison after he led police on a high speed chase in a van and then a foot chase through deep snow in Woodstock. Morrison was believed to be armed at the time, although no weapon was found on him.

Morrison was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison in February after pleading guilty to escape and drug charges and admitting a probation violation from an aggravated assault conviction.

According to an e-mail from Sheriff Wayne Gallant, the officers were nominated by Sgt. Don Shead Jr. of the Maine State Police, who also took part in the manhunt. Shead will also be presented with a Meritorious Service Award.


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