Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Hillsborough

Woman stabbed boyfriend then ‘let him die,' she tells detectives

Melissa Rose Turner, a cosplay model, waited four hours to call 911 after stabbing Matthew Trussler in the back, according to the report.
Matt Trussler, 25, seen here on his Facebook page, was stabbed to death by his girlfriend the morning of Oct. 18 at their home in Riverview, according to court records.
Matt Trussler, 25, seen here on his Facebook page, was stabbed to death by his girlfriend the morning of Oct. 18 at their home in Riverview, according to court records. [ Facebook ]
Published Oct. 25, 2019
Updated Oct. 25, 2019

RIVERVIEW — When Melissa Rose Turner called 911, she told the dispatcher she found her boyfriend’s cold, bloody body on the back patio of the couple’s Riverview home.

Turner, 26, said she tried to revive 25-year-old Matthew Trussler but didn’t know what had happened to him.

She later changed her story and detectives found chilling surveillance footage that captured audio of a heated argument. Within hours, Turner was charged with murder.

In fact, an arrest report says, Turner stabbed Trussler. She told Hillsborough sheriff’s detectives that “things escalated” during a fight the morning of Oct. 18, the report says. She waited four hours to call for help.

“If it was an accident, then I would have called 911 and not just let him die,” Turner told detectives, according to the report.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrested Melissa Turner, 26, on a charge of murder in the second degree.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrested Melissa Turner, 26, on a charge of murder in the second degree. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has released few details about the case, but an arrest report added to the court file this week offers a detailed account of what happened at the home on the 9800 block of White Barn Way.

Turner called 911 about 8:45 a.m., saying she found Trussler on the back patio and tried CPR. Deputies arrived and found Trussler’s body lying face up on the pool deck. He had cuts on his arm and chest. Turner had dried blood all over her body and a cut on her hand.

In an interview with detectives, Turner said Trussler was intoxicated when he woke her up about 4 a.m. Turner said she got angry about being awakened and the pair began to argue. Trussler had a knife in his hand, Turner said, and when she tried to grab it the blade cut her hand.

Trussler then scratched her neck and threw her across the kitchen counter, she said.

A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured audio of an argument on the back patio. At 4:31 a.m., what sounds like a woman’s voice says, “You stay down," according to the arrest report.

A moment later, a noise that sounds like glass breaking is heard. About 45 seconds later, the female voice says, “So f--king die.”

Over the next several minutes, the female voice can be heard saying, “I hate you," and then, “Get up," a number of times. Smacking sounds can be heard and what may be a male’s voice, though it’s unclear what is said.

About 4:44 a.m., the female voice yells, “No!” and then, a minute later, what sounded to investigators like, “What did I do?”

Investigators noted a defensive wound on Trussler’s right forearm, a large cut on his right bicep, small cuts on his shoulder and chest, and a large wound in the middle of his back consistent with a stab wound.

Surveillance footage from the home of a neighbor captured the sounds of a fatal argument on the patio of this Riverview home, court records show.
Surveillance footage from the home of a neighbor captured the sounds of a fatal argument on the patio of this Riverview home, court records show. [ Tony Marrero ]

Turner was being held without bail in the Hillsborough County jail. She’s charged with second-degree murder with a weapon, a crime punishable by up to life in prison.

Jail records list her as self-employed and her occupation as "modeling/cosplay.”

No one answered the door at the house on Thursday. The couple had decorated for Halloween: A inflatable figure lay crumpled on the grass as a tattered ghost hanging from a lamp swayed in the breeze.

Saturday’s violence ended a domestic life that, at least at first, showed no signs of trouble.

Trussler and Turner bought the two-story, four-bedroom home in the Boyette Farms subdivision in December, records show. Trussler celebrated his 25th birthday in January.

“Quarter century later I’ve got a mortgage, a pup, four fur babies and a wonderful girl. I’m a happy man,” reads a Jan. 11 post on Trussler’s Facebook page. According to the page, he worked for a company called Elite Foam.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Trussler worked as a general manager for an Italian restaurant before moving to Florida a couple of years ago, said Jenna Smith, a friend from Massachusetts. He was drawn to Florida by the sunshine and his brother, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, Smith said.

“Matt was the most fun-loving, hard-working guy ever,” said Smith, 24. “He would put anybody in a good mood.”

The friends kept in touch with Trussler mainly through Facebook. Smith hadn’t met Turner and didn’t know anything about her. But Smith is sure of one thing.

“This is not supposed to be the way things turned out for him."