Murder charge against escort dropped

MorosiA murder charge has been dismissed for Stephanie Morosi, a female escort who has acknowledged killing Jason Maxwell Truitt in September 2006, but claimed self-defense in the incident. Morosi shot Truitt in her bedroom, and she said they had been arguing heatedly when he attacked her. 9th Circuit Court Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced Tuesday the charge would be dismissed, saying that evidence pointed to Morosi acting in self-defense in the killing.

From The Post and Courier:

Stephanie Morosi had been charged with murdering Jason Maxwell Truitt after shooting him in her bedroom in September 2006. She was supposed to go on trial this week.

In an announcement today, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said the case evidence showed Morosi was in fear of Truitt, an extremely large man and one-time roommate, and had even attended criminal domestic violence workshops.

“All the case evidence points to Morosi protecting herself,” the statement said.

From ABC News 4:

Truitt's friends told authorities that he struggled with depression and made statements about killing himself or others. Morosi told police Truitt had been physically violent with her on one occasion prior to the night she shot Truitt.

The Berkeley County Coroners Office confirmed Morosi had attended criminal violence workshops at My Sister's House. In July of 2006, Morosi purchased the gun used to kill Truitt.

In an interview with police immediately after the shooting, Morosi said she and Truitt were in a heated argument when he came after her. Morosi tried to seek shelter in her bedroom, but according to the report, Truitt forced his way in. Morosi grabbed her gun from under her pillow and shot Truitt three times. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office found a hunting knife on Truitt's belt and a steak knife on the floor beside his body.

From Live 5 News:

In South Carolina, self-defense does not have to be proven by the defendant. It is the burden of the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self defense. The Solicitor's Office says they had no choice but to drop the charges.

Morosi was released on bond three months after the shooting. Had the case gone to trial, she could have faced from 30 years to life in prison.

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