Killer could go free in decades-old Clovis murder

EMBED </>More Videos

Michael Morganti, 20, was kidnapped, beaten, stabbed and buried alive back in 1980. David Weidert was convicted of the crime. (KFSN)

The state parole board approved Weidert's release in January. The case will soon be forwarded to Governor Jerry Brown, who will make the ultimate decision about what's next for David Weidert.
Michael Morganti, 20, was kidnapped, beaten, stabbed and buried alive back in 1980. David Weidert was convicted of the crime. After more than 30 years in prison, his future now stands with Governor Jerry Brown. David Weidert has pleaded his case before the parole board six different times. They recently relented. Now the victim's family is pleading their case and they're hoping the governor will listen.

It was December, 1980 when Fresno County investigators found the shallow grave where 20-year-old Mike Morganti was buried. His family had been desperately looking for him for a month. His then 10-year-old sister was just hoping they'd find her big brother.

Vikki VanDuyne told us, "Mike was just super sweet, he was the best brother and so excited to have a little sister."

Vikki spoke with us via Skype. She and Mike were close friends, as Mike's developmental disabilities shortened the 10 year gap between them. She's been to every parole hearing, always facing the man who killed her brother.

"It was a shock," said Vikki. "It was very hard for us to sit in that room 5 feet away from the person who did unspeakable things to a completely vulnerable person that we loved."

The now 52-year-old David Weidert was a teenager when it all went down. The murder was a cover up, aimed at preventing Morganti from testifying against Weidert on a burglary charge. The victim's family tells us Morganti was begging for his life. He never fought back, he merely wanted friends and to be "normal" just like everyone else. Weidert's family tells us he's been a model prisoner, he got his GED and his electrician's certificate. They also say he's remorseful. But Vikki tells us, she doesn't buy it.

Vikki explained, "His reason for feeling that he has insight into the crime is that his family moved a lot when he was young and they didn't kidnap and torture and stab and strangle and bury alive a mentally disabled person."

The state parole board approved Weidert's release in January. The case will soon be forwarded to Governor Jerry Brown, who will make the ultimate decision about what's next for David Weidert.

The victim's family is in the process of making their own case against Weidert. They've got the support of a number of legislators, prosecutors and disability rights advocates.

For more information on Mike Morganti's case go to www.justice4mike.org



Related Topics:
crimetrackermurderparoleFresnoFresno CountyClovis
(Copyright ©2018 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)