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Trial begins in stabbing death of woman

By JAMAL THALJI
Published May 30, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - Blood was on the sheets and pillows, on the walls and curtains.

On the bed lay the bloody body of Lynn Marie Vincent. She had been slashed and stabbed - in the head, neck and chest, again and again.

Tucked under the victim's left elbow was a bloody yard glove.

"This glove was a silent witness the night that Lynn Marie Vincent was stabbed to death, " Pinellas-Pasco Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis told the jury Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of Frederick John Morgan.

That's because of the blood found on the glove. Some belonged to Vincent, who had succumbed to violence in the name of drugs when she was killed at age 42 on May 15, 2005.

But most of the blood found on that glove, the prosecutor said, belonged to Morgan.

"As he was cutting her and cutting her and stabbing and stabbing her, " said the prosecutor, swinging the imaginary knife in his right fist down across his left palm, "he cut himself."

The 46-year-old Morgan could face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. The state intends to prove that Morgan broke into Vincent's place in the Walden Pond Mobile Home Park to steal drugs and stabbed her 20 times, at least.

How will attorney Keith Hammond defend his client?

Hammond declined Tuesday to give an opening statement to the jury, except to say they'll arrive at a not guilty verdict after they've seen and heard everything.

After the slaying, Morgan told police several stories. One story is that someone else broke into the home with him and attacked Vincent.

But no one else has been charged in the burglary or attack, Halkitis said.

Vincent's daughter, 26-year-old Adriann DeGrandchamp, could not bear to watch a videotape of the bloody crime scene. She left the courtroom in tears as the camera focused on her mother's wounds.

Afterward, Halkitis explained to her why he had to show jurors that videotape. He had to show them what happened. And he had to show them her mother was a human being.

Times researcher Lea Iadarola contributed to this report. Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or 727 869-6236.