On Feb. 11, 2020, friends and family removed the victim from Murell’s home at 83 Lakeshore Drive. She was transported to Pardee Hospital for treatment.
The district attorney’s office said Asheville Police conducted multiple welfare checks on the woman "over 10 days prior to admission to the hospital."
During the trial, the victim said Murell gave her alcohol and trazodone. She reportedly said Murell assaulted her numerous times and that she was "dragged by her arms and legs, kicked in the head, and raped."
Pardee Hospital medical staff kept evidence of the victim’s injuries and administered a sexual assault nurse examiner kit. Evidence revealed at the trial showed that the victim sustained a traumatic brain injury, as well as "multiple scrapes and bruises on her arms and legs, cigarette burns to her back and chest, and other injuries."
While being treated at the hospital, the victim’s "blood alcohol content was potentially lethal," the district attorney’s office said. A toxicology report showed that she also had barbiturates and benzodiazepines in her system.
According to the district attorney’s office, Murell met the victim while being treated for substance abuse. Murell reportedly transported the woman to his home and "held her against her will" from around Feb. 1, 2020, until Feb. 11, 2020.
During Murell’s sentencing, the victim asked the judge to give him the maximum sentence.
A judge sentenced Murell to 20 to 29 years in prison for first-degree forcible rape and 14 to 26 months for assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Murell will also have to register as a sex offender and undergo monitoring for life. The judge ordered him not to contact the victim for the rest of his life.
Murell reportedly said he was "shocked but accepted the court’s decision." He did not apologize for his actions nor did he make a statement of remorse, according to the district attorney’s office.