The cosplay model who stabbed her fiancé to death was sentenced to 20.5 years in prison for second-degree murder.
Melissa Turner29, sentenced in February killing Matthew Trussler25. She testified that he assaulted her and that she fought back, but Trussler’s family denied the abuse allegations against him. Referee Samantha Ward apparently didn’t buy Turner’s right to defend himself.
“This jury does not believe her self-defense statements nor does this court,” the judge said Friday, according to the court. WTVT.
Before being sentenced, Turner refused a plea deal that could carry 25 years in prison.
She claims Trussler had a habit of abusing her and this culminated in his assault on her in October 2017. In her account, he woke her up after a day and night of drinking. Turner testified that Trussler strangled her, threw her over the counter and took a knife. He put down the knife but started strangling her, she said. Turner assumed that believing he was going to kill her, she stabbed him with the same blade.
“I love him and I don’t want to do that to him,” she told the court Friday. “The last thing he wanted, he was always trying to hide his mental health condition and how depressed he was, he tried to hide it from everyone the last thing he wanted. wanted to let the world know about it.”
Melissa’s mother also defended her in court.
“She was never a confrontational person, she tried to hide and hide her pain,” Wanda Turner said Friday.
But authorities say Melissa waited nearly four hours to seek help after stabbing Trussler. They cite the man’s watch, which measures his heart rate. When first responders arrived, defendant Turner initially claimed not to know what happened to him, only saying she had found him in the backyard.
Her defense attorney admitted that she herself on surveillance video said things like “I hate you”, “get up”, “do it yourself! Trussler’s death.
“We have several issues that support why we believe the jury should conclude that Ms. Turner is not guilty,” the attorney said. John Trevena previously told Law & Crime. “These issues include testimony from our audio/video expert Bruce Koenig that a Nest audio/video recording from a neighbor across the street was manipulated in certain areas to amplify The volume was intended to make it sound like Ms. Turner was shouting much louder and the parts in which the alleged victim was speaking were completely inaudible. Beyond that, it’s a matter of self-defense and the heat of passion. “
However, as Judge Ward said, the jurors didn’t buy the story either.
Matthew Trussler’s family denies the abuse allegations, and one of them says Turner is not an “innocent girl”.
“This is not a story about a poor innocent girl,” said Matthew’s brother Sean Trussler, sobbing, according to WTVT. “This is a woman who deliberately isolates and draws a good child away from her loving, supportive family.”
Their mother Margaret McLaughlin says Turner’s “fake” abuse story causes as much pain as Matthew’s death, and that Friday’s sentencing will cause him “great suffering.”
“You and I both know that Matthew is the best thing that ever happened to you,” she said.
Chris Spargo contributed to this report.
[Mugshot via Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; image of Turner and Trussler via Trevena.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/cosplay-model-gets-two-decades-in-prison-for-fiances-murder-after-jury-did-not-believe-her-claims-of-self-defense/ Melissa Turner Convicted for Murder of Matthew Trussler