The Saga of Stephanie Morosi
Then, on September 14, 2006, while Morosi was painting shutters in her brick ranch style home, Truitt burst inside through an unlocked door. He was wearing a hunting knife on his belt, and he demanded money.......and to move back in. "I think he went to my house desperate, he was penniless and broke," said Morosi.
An argument ensued with Morosi standing her ground and Truitt becoming more enraged. Morosi retreated to her bathroom to calm herself. "Please leave and be gone when I come out," she pleaded.
When she opened the door, Truitt was still there. Stephanie Morosi grasped for her telephone. Truitt grabbed a steak knife off a counter and snarled "You're not calling the police."
The 108 pound Morosi ran to her bedroom where she kept her Bersa Thunder .380 pistol hidden in a pillow. As she ran around the bed, Truitt leaped on top of it. Pulling the firearm from the pillow, she shot Truitt three times, in his abdomen, neck and head. As her attacker lay dying, she dropped the gun, and ran to a neighbor's home to call 911.
The neighbor wrapped the girl, who was still in shock, in a blanket. "The shock, the blood just drains from your body," says Morosi. She cooperated with investigators, telling them she had shot her attacker in self defense. Before they left, Stephanie Morosi was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Neither knife Truitt was carrying was taken into evidence.
Stephanie Morosi would spend three months locked up at the Berkeley County Detention Center in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, but she was alive. During that time, it became public that she had worked as an escort. The local media sensationalized her primary source of income. Her sister came from Virginia and sold their childhood home so Morosi could obtain funds for her $75,000 bail. In December 2006, she made bail. Still, she realized the people around her everywhere in Charleston were whispering. She was able to find employment at an IHOP restaurant, but left after it was twice robbed.
It took twenty months for Stephanie Morosi and her attorney, Paul Thurmond to have their day in court. When they appeared before 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, Morosi's charges were dropped. The Ninth Circuit Solicitor's office released a statement declaring the evidence showed Morosi was protecting herself and that she was in fear for her life. No kidding. She was a victim. Even in subsequent interviews, it seemed the media wanted to focus on Stephanie Morosi's work as an escort rather than her right to self defense.
Paul Thurmond said police would not have been so quick to arrest Morosi had she been in a different line of work, say, a school teacher. "I don’t think a reasonable person would say she would receive less scrutiny than the teacher," Thurmond said. Self defense does not end when the attacker is incapacitated. Protecting oneself in the legal jungle is sure to follow.
Today, Stephanie Morosi is living on a friend’s sofa. Although she has been a published writer since the age of twelve, she does not want to write about this experience. She fears the wagging tongues will claim she committed murder in order to write a book. Instead, she hopes to set up a support group to help women escape domestic violence. She is putting the remaining funds from the liquidation of her home to good use. She is attending Trident Technical College. She hopes to become a registered nurse. May she reach all of her aspirations. Good Luck Stephanie.
Labels: Self Defense