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Legal charges against Stan Lee's business manager dropped by judge

A judge dismisses the charges against Keya Morgan after the jury became deadlocked

Stan Lee and Keya Morgan
Image credit: AP

Almost four years after the legendary creator’s death, Stan Lee’s former business manager is no longer facing charges that he stole money from his client after a judge dismissed the charges Tuesday afternoon.

Keya Morgan had been accused of stealing $222,480 from Lee following three signings which took place in May 2018, just six months before the writer and editor’s death at the age of 95. Morgan was charged with three felony counts of grand theft from an elder, with the potential of facing nine years in prison if convicted. The jury in the trial announced Tuesday that it was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquitting Morgan, leading Judge George Lamely to declare a mistrial and subsequently dismiss the case altogether, something he reportedly did “in the interests of justice.”

Morgan’s attorney Alex Kessel made a statement outside the courtroom, saying that “The defense showed somebody else beside my client got the cash. Eleven of [the jury] saw that… I think the judge made the right call so my client can go on with his life.”

The “somebody else” Kessel alluded to was Lee’s daughter, J.C. Lee, whom Kessel accused of being “the only one [who] abused Stan Lee” in his closing argument. This wasn’t the first time that J.C. Lee had been accused of this sort of behavior towards her father; an investigation into Lee’s circumstances before his death uncovered similar suggestions that Lee’s daughter had been attempting to manipulate and take advantage of her father in his old age.

Morgan spoke to reporters himself after charges were dismissed, saying that he felt that Stan Lee “would be very happy” with the outcome of the trial, adding, “He has repeatedly told reporters that nothing makes him more angry than false accusations against me.”

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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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