Judge Morris Overstreet

July 10, 1950 – March 3, 2024

After a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer, on Sunday, March 3, 2024, Morris Lee Overstreet made his transition to eternal life, at age 73. Known to friends as Judge, and to family as Uncle Street and Papa O, Judge Overstreet was born in Amarillo, Texas, the third child of West Overstreet, Jr. and Nora Johnson Overstreet.  Morris attended George Washington Carver High School, where he played football, ran track, and was a world-class hurdler, competing in meets and games in the area and neighboring cities. After court-directed school mergers changed the designated school assignments, Morris attended Amarillo High School, where he received NCAA athletic recognition, graduating with honors and earning a track scholarship to Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.  Initially, Morris was drawn to a pre-medical course of undergraduate study; however, his fascination with social causes, coupled with the consequences of human behavior, led him to a major in Sociology with minors in Biology and Chemistry.  He felt preparation in the social sciences and the study of law would empower him to “change the world.”

After graduating from Angelo State, Morris answered the Call of the Law, remaining in his beloved Texas.  Morris received his J.D. from what is now known as Thurgood Marshall School of Law, on the campus of Texas Southern University. From the beginning, Morris dedicated his life and legal career to public service.  He was an Assistant District Attorney in the 47th Judicial District of Amarillo, starting as an Intern and advancing quickly to First Assistant DA.

From 1981 to 1986, Morris worked in private practice. Following this, he served for four years as Presiding Judge for the Potter County Court.  On November 6, 1990, Judge Overstreet became the first African American elected to a statewide position in Texas since Reconstruction.  He served on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from 1991 to 1998 and authored over 500 opinions. 

Following his time on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge Overstreet practiced law in various Texas cities including Austin, Houston and Galveston, as well as in Waller County.  He later served as a Judge in Waller County’s Prairie View Municipal Courts.  Ever loyal to his alma mater, Morris later returned to TSU, where he served as Director of the Legal Clinic and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Evidence and Criminal Procedure.

In 1996, Morris met the love of his life, Dr. Carla Ortique at a National Bar and National Medical Association Joint conference on Health and Law in Chicago.  They married a few years later, at high noon on Juneteenth, creating a wonderfully blended family that would share holidays, family events and travel. Family gatherings were full of fun, laughter and always a bit of mischief as it was often impossible to distinguish when Morris was telling a tall tale or being deadpan serious.  His students and those who worked for him might have described Morris as a stern taskmaster.  Yet, his family and friends knew Street as the ultimate jokester and prankster!  

Always seeking to diversify and expand his sphere of influence, in January 1999, Morris qualified as a certified contract advisor with the National Football League Players Association and began to negotiate contracts between players and NFL clubs.  Morris joined his “cousin brother” Brian Overstreet in this endeavor at USG Sports, formerly E. Overstreet Sports Management Group. Morris was also a partner with the law firm of Hance Scarborough LLP where he remained active until shortly before his death.

Judge Overstreet was a member of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association (NBA) and the Houston Lawyers Association. He was a frequent lecturer, public speaker and taught scores of continuing legal education seminars statewide and nationally for justices of the peace, constitutional county judges, Municipal court judges, local, state and other bar associations, the State Bar of Texas Advance Criminal Law Seminar, and the National Bar Association.

His community and service organization participation included membership in the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, known as “The Boule’, the oldest fraternity for African Americans.

Judge Overstreet also held life memberships in the NAACP, the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Association, and his beloved Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.  A proud Sigma, Morris was a “senior brother” in the Alpha Sigma Sigma chapter, formerly having served as National Legal Counsel for the fraternity.  More recently, he claimed bragging rights and took pride in having inspired his grandson, Tyriece Hampton, to don the blue and white. It was hard to tell which made him prouder: pinning his grandson or hooding him following completion of his juris doctorate studies at Morris’ alma mater, Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved wife, Carla Ortique; daughter Elizabeth Hampton; son, West Overstreet (Jaclyn Davis, MD); grandchildren Tyriece Hampton (Jordan Lampkin), Marrissa and Morris E. L. Overstreet; sisters Gloria Pearson, Carolyn Ates and Wesley Hill, Denise Ortique Taylor and Valerie Ortique Barnett (Brian); great Aunt Johnanna Overstreet; his special cousin “brother” Brian Overstreet (Dee); several nieces, nephews, cousins and adoring friends.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Morris Lee Overstreet memorial scholarship fund.


Friday, March 8, 2024 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM

McCoy and Harrison Funeral Home, 4918 Martin Luther King Blvd., Houston, Texas 77021

Funeral Service:

Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM

Brentwood Baptist Church, 13033 Landmark St., Houston, Texas 77045


Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas

Live Streaming:

Streaming of the Celebration of Life Service for Judge Morris L. Overstreet will be broadcast on, www.brentwoodbaptist.org/live   (viewing will be available at 11am)

3 entries.
Marilyn Aboussie Marilyn Aboussie from San Angelo/Austin wrote on March 6, 2024 at 7:37 pm
i came to know Morris Overstreet when he was an outstanding student at Angelo State University. Later, we both served in the judiciary and saw each other most days in the Supreme Court Building when I was on the Third Court of Appeals, and he was on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Morris was a wonderful friend and a decent human being. May his soul rest in peace.
Otis Bullion Otis Bullion from Oklahoma City wrote on March 6, 2024 at 5:13 pm
Morris was a good marble shooter and friend in thoes days in the 50's we were family To the family God Blessings be bestowed upon you
Steve schiwetz Steve schiwetz from Corpus Christi wrote on March 5, 2024 at 10:01 pm
I met him 46 years ago in Amarillo when I went to work for him. He was a mentor, friend and exemplary man in so many ways. As first assistant in that office he gave me ethical guidance I still abide by