Suspect in stabbing death of Paso Robles man says she acted in self-defense

The woman accused in the stabbing death of a Paso Robles man said in a videotaped interview with detectives played in court Tuesday that she acted in self-defense.

Kelsey Morasci, 29, laid out her version of the events leading up to the death of Everett Quaid on Aug. 6, saying that she grabbed Quaid’s wrist and tried to prevent him from using a pocket knife against her.

Morasci said that as they struggled to the ground, she picked up the knife and he “pretty much ran into it.”

Morasci also said in the interview that she may have pushed the knife toward Quaid, but as a way of defending herself from attack.

She has pleaded not guilty to the homicide of Quaid — a 21-year-old man who had begun dating her ex-girlfriend, Grace Crabtree.

District Attorney’s Office investigator Daniel Bresnehan and Atascadero Police Department detective Fred Pflum conducted the Aug. 6 recorded interview, the evidence that was at the center of Tuesday’s proceedings.

Morasci’s account of the incident differed from that of some of the prosecution witnesses, such as her statement that Grace Crabtree was inside the house when the altercation happened.

Crabtree testified Monday that she was outside with Morasci and Quaid standing about 12 to 14 feet away when Morasci made a motion that appeared to be a hug toward Quaid, and then they struggled on the ground and Morasci appeared to be punching him.

But Morasci said that she was alone with Quaid, sitting on a hammock in an outside patio, when the altercation took place.

Morasci said Quaid revealed the pocket knife and attempted to attack her; she grabbed his wrist and the knife dropped on the ground.

She picked it up, she said, and didn’t realize she was pointing it at Quaid as he “got on top of me” in a straddling position.

“I never had the dominant position,” Morasci told investigators.

Morasci said she then went inside the house and told the others, “I just stabbed him,” to inform Crabtree and her sister, Patty Crabtree, as well as Patty’s friend, Damon Shannon, who were in the apartment.

Then, Morasci said, she followed Quaid out to the parking lot and administered CPR to him while covering the wound to his upper chest with her thumb.

Quaid — whose artery in his upper chest was severed, according to medical examiner Gary Walter — was transported to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, where he was pronounced dead after an attempt to revive him.

Emergency hospital staff said that Quaid lost a lot of blood, had no pulse and wasn’t breathing when he arrived at the hospital — and a 1.5-liter blood clot was removed from inside his body before Quaid was declared dead after about 30 minutes of trying to revive him.

Morasci said in the interview that Quaid used expletives referring to her sexuality and said that she couldn’t get Crabtree back as a girlfriend.

“He was jealous,” Morasci said.

Morasci also said that she believed the Crabtree sisters would lie about the events of the night and thought Shannon might, too.

The trial continues at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Judge John Trice’s courtroom.