Davidson News

Davidson News

North Carolina Man Convicted in Horrific Case of Prolonged Assault and Rape, Resulting in Severe Brain Injury

A 58-year-old man will serve several decades in prison after raping and severely injuring a woman in 2020 while she was being held against her will.

A jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of first-degree forced rape and one count of assault causing serious bodily harm against William Murrell, according to a news release issued by the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office on November 13. He was found not guilty of first-degree abduction. The trial started on September 28 and lasted for several weeks before the verdict.

Friends and family took the victim out of Murell’s house at 83 Lakeshore Drive on February 11, 2020. For medical attention, Pardee Hospital received her transfer.

Justice Served: N.C. Man Sentenced for Severe Assault and Rape, Victim’s Lethal Blood Alcohol Content Revealed in Court

According to the district attorney’s office, Asheville Police checked on the woman several times “over 10 days before admitting to the hospital.”

The victim testified throughout the trial that Murrell offered her trazodone and alcohol. Murrell allegedly repeatedly abused her, according to her account, and she was “dragged by her arms and legs, kicked in the head, and raped.”

The medical professionals at Pardee Hospital administered a sexual assault nurse examiner kit and preserved documentation of the victim’s injuries. Traumatic brain damage and “multiple wounds and scrapes on her arms and legs, burns caused by cigarettes to her back and chest, and other injuries” were among the traumas the victim experienced, according to evidence presented during the trial.

The victim’s “blood alcohol content was potentially lethal,” according to the district attorney’s office, while they were receiving treatment at the hospital. She also contained benzodiazepines and barbiturates, according to a toxicology study.

The victim and Murell first spoke, according to the district attorney’s office, when Murell was receiving drug treatment. The woman was allegedly brought to Murrell’s house, where he “held her against her will” from about February 1, 2020, to February 11, 2020.

The victim requested that Murell receive the maximum term while he was being sentenced.

Murell was given sentences of 14 to 26 months for assault causing serious physical injury and 20 to 29 years for first-degree forced rape by a judge. In addition, Murell will have to register as a sexual offender and submit to lifelong surveillance. He was told by the judge not to speak to the victim again for the rest of his life.

According to reports, Murell declared himself “shocked but accepted the court’s decision.” The district attorney’s office claims that he never expressed regret nor offered an apology for his acts.


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