TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Testimony in the Melissa Turner second-degree murder trial is officially underway in Tampa.
Turner is the former cosplay model accused of killing her boyfriend, Matthew Trussler, at the home they shared in Hillsborough County in October of 2019.
Attorneys picked a jury on Monday and delivered opening statements.
The state began presenting its case Tuesday. Prosecutors called up several crime scene technicians and detectives who testified in detail about the crime scene, evidence they collected and photos they captured.
Ryan Lagasse, a former detective with the sheriff’s office, testified Tuesday afternoon. His job that day was to canvas the neighborhood looking for any possible witnesses or homes with cameras. He found one around the corner from the scene.
“As I walked up the driveway, I observed some sort of surveillance type cameras,” Lagasse told jurors.
Jurors listened to the recording from the Nest video camera. According to the arrest affidavit, detectives say you can hear a female voice saying, “you stay down,” “so f***ing die” and “I hate you.”
A number of Trussler’s loved ones were in the courtroom, but have not spoken to the media.
Turner sat down with 8 On Your Side on Friday, just days prior to the trial. She claims this was a case of self defense and she is heartbroken.
“He had pushed me into the countertop. I had marks on my stomach and then turned me around and had his hands around my throat,” said Turner. “We ended up struggling back and forth for the knife. I got my hand sliced open.”
John Trevena, a high-profile lawyer out of Pinellas County, is representing Turner. He believes the evidence will show jurors this was not a homicide.
He plans to put his client on the stand either Thursday or Friday.
Before the beginning of the trial, the state offered a plea deal of 25 years in Florida State Prison. Trevena said no, but came back with a counter offer of five years in prison. The state said no to that.
The trial is expected to last the rest of the week. If jurors find Turner guilty, she could face life in prison.