Oct. 17, 2019, began as a normal day for Matthew Trussler and Melissa Turner. The couple went shopping at Home Depot and Publix, and then had lunch at the home they shared near Tampa, Florida. Hours later, Trussler was found dead by their pool.
Turner said she frantically called 911 when she discovered Trussler’s lifeless body the next day.
“He is cold,” she told the 911 operator. “He is not responsive.”
When investigators arrived at the crime scene, they quickly went to work. Turner agreed to go to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for questioning. Turner told investigators she did not know how Trussler died.
As investigators canvassed the neighborhood, then-sheriff’s detective Ryan LaGasse said he noticed a neighbor’s surveillance camera facing the direction of Turner and Trussler’s home. He reviewed the footage, in which he heard loud voices coming from their home.
“And then I hear what sounds like screaming, yelling,” LaGasse told “48 Hours.”
LaGasse noted that as he continued listening to the audio from the camera, he heard phrases such as “Get up now,” and “So f****** die,” that he said appeared to be the voice of a woman.
Back at the sheriff’s office, investigators confronted Turner about the voices and screams coming from their home throughout the night. At first she said she had no memory of screaming and yelling, but when pressed by detectives, she recalled the argument.
“He woke me up and we got in an argument over that, because he was still up at four in the morning drinking,” she told detectives.
Turner also told detectives that the argument turned physical, and Trussler strangled her. She claimed she grabbed his knife and stabbed him.
“I thought he was gonna kill me,” Turner told “48 Hours.”
During the interview, detectives discovered a large cut on Turner’s hand. She told them she got the cut when she picked up a broken glass earlier that morning.
Turner shared more of her story with “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty in “Melissa Turner’s Closing Act,” airing Jan. 14 at 10/9c on CBS, and streaming on Paramount+.
There would be another development that would help investigators: the discovery of an ADT camera in the couple’s home that recorded Turner and Trussler’s movements that night.
“He’s walking calmly, unarmed in the ADT videos, and she’s following hunched over angry,” prosecutor Chinwe Fossett told “48 Hours.”
Prosecutors also believe the recording shows blood on Turner’s hand from that cut, which they say happened when she stabbed Trussler.
Despite Turner’s version of events, she was arrested and charged with second-degree murder with a weapon. Two years later, on Feb. 14, 2022, Turner went on trial.
Throughout the trial, Turner maintained she acted in self-defense.
“I thought he was going to kill me, and I was trying to get him to stop,” Turner told jurors.
“And I loved him,” she added.
Turner’s attorney, John Trevena, brought in an audio expert who testified that he thought the voices recorded on the neighbor’s camera had been volume enhanced.
“I find it highly suspicious that Ms. Turner’s voice is screeching loud,” Trevena said. “But when it came to Matthew Trussler .. you could barely hear mumbling.”
But prosecutors denied the recording was manipulated.
At the end of the week-long trial, a jury found Turner guilty of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 20.5 years in prison.
“They could’ve walked away from each other and started a different life,” Donald Goodwin, a juror in Turner’s trial, told “48 Hours.” “Melissa Turner chose to kill Matthew Trussler.”