'I remember shooting him': Murder suspect testifies in own defense
He remembers pulling the trigger, but he can't say why.
Wednesday, during his trial on charges including first-degree murder, now-34-year-old Trayvon Morrissette took the witness stand in his own defense.
Morrissette's charges stem from a Fourth of July shooting in 2016. He was attending a gathering at a home on Lore Road in south Anchorage, where guests suddenly heard gunshots in the bathroom. Jorge Rea-Villa, 30, died at the scene.
Morrissette's testimony detailed his struggle with substance abuse prior to the murder.
"Everyone just started using meth. It was readily available. It lasted a lot longer than coke did-- and that was just the drug of choice. I just switched from coke to meth," he explained.
What started as a weekend habit quickly took over his life, cost him his job and brought on paranoia, according to Morrissette.
He described believing he could see bugs all around him in his home and fearing he was being monitored through his electronic devices-- an account corroborated by a friend who later testified.
Morrissette also said he had used meth on the day of the shooting before he went to the party.
"It didn't' affect my driving as if I was drinking-- I was able to talk or function fine-- I didn't swerve or anything while driving-- I was more alert than anything," said Morrissette.
He then described the last moments of Rea-Villa's life.
"I remember walking to the bathroom, and I remember opening the door, and I remember walking in. I remember when I was closing the door, [Rea-Villa] was in there and he turned to me like, 'What's up fool. Why are you in here?' and I remember pulling out the gun and I remember shooting him," said Morrissette.
Prosecutor A. James Klugman asked Morrissette, "So, when you're in the bathroom and you point the gun at Jorge and you shoot him nine times, did you understand what was gonna happen to him?"
"I understand shooting somebody could potentially hurt them or kill them, but I can't tell you why I shot him," Morrissette answered.
"My question is, when you shot him, you knew he was gonna die, correct?" said Klugman.
Morrissette replied, "No."
Klugman asked, "What did you think was gonna happen?"
Morrisette replied, "I don't know."
The father of the victim, Jorge Rea, spoke about the murder in the past.
“I don’t hate him at all. Why should I hate him?” Rea said, after watching Morrissette's initial arraignment. “He made a mistake, he has to pay for it. It’s what I wanted. I have no hard feelings against him, but he has to pay for what he did.”
According to previous reporting, Rea went on to say he thought his son was “set up.” He said his son had information about drug deals in the city, as well as a murder, and that he had told his father that someone was looking for him and that he feared for his life.
The trial will continue Thursday morning and is expected to wrap up next week.
Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Danie Rivera.
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