An Atascadero woman was found guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in connection with the August stabbing of a Paso Robles man who was part of a purported love triangle.
The jury also found Kelsey Morasci, 29, guilty of the enhancement of using a deadly weapon to kill Everett Quaid, 21, of Paso Robles. Morasci will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Friday. She faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Lee Cunningham had argued that Morasci was jealous and suspicious of Quaid, who had begun dating her ex-girlfriend.
Morasci trembled and wiped tears from her eyes as the jury of eight women and four men sat silently while the verdict was read. Her family, clasping hands and huddled close, were also emotionally shaken.
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Morasci’s defense attorney, Thomas McCormick, could not be reached for comment.
Cunningham had argued during the two-week trial that Morasci had the intent to kill, stating that she had grabbed two steak knives after an initial stabbing with a Swiss Army knife and followed Quaid outside.
Morasci’s defense attorney had argued that witness testimony was inconsistent and that there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that his client was guilty. Noting that Morasci’s DNA and fingerprints weren’t on the suspected murder weapon, McCormick also cited the CPR that Morasci gave Quaid as he bled profusely after the stabbing as proof that she had no intent to kill him and was acting in self-defense.
Quaid died after his subclavian artery was severed, causing massive internal bleeding before his death Aug. 6, 2009.
The jury’s verdict was the most stringent available. Besides second-degree murder, the jurors could have found voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
Bailiffs ushered the jurors out of the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read; jurors did not want to comment about their deliberations.
“I am gratified for Everett’s family,” Cunningham said. “Had the verdict been anything other, my heart would have broken for his family.”