William Todd Murrell, a 58-year-old man from Asheville, North Carolina, has been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison after being found guilty of first degree forcible rape and felony assault. The crimes were first reported to the Asheville Police Department in February 2020, after the victim was removed from Murrell’s home by her friends and family and taken to a hospital to treat her injuries, which included a traumatic brain injury, multiple scrapes and bruises, and cigarette burns. The victim, who met Murrell while receiving treatment for substance abuse, testified that Murrell gave her alcohol and Trazadone before assaulting and raping her.
Asheville Man Sentenced to Minimum 20 Years for Rape and Assault
A man from Asheville, North Carolina, William Todd Murrell, 58, will serve a minimum of 20 years in prison after being found guilty of rape and assault in a recent multi-week trial in Buncombe County. However, the jury acquitted Murrell of a first-degree kidnapping charge.
The Asheville Police Department first received reports of these offenses in February 2020, after friends and family members removed the victim from Murrell’s home. The victim underwent treatment at a hospital for injuries sustained from the assault.
Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office reports that Murrell, once met the victim at a substance abuse treatment center, assaulted her multiple times after providing her with alcohol and Trazadone. The victim sustained a traumatic brain injury, multiple scrapes, bruises, and cigarette burns, as corroborated by photographs and documents presented at trial. Doctors also reported the victim’s blood alcohol content was potentially lethal; with traces of barbiturates and benzodiazepines found in her system.
Murrell faces a minimum sentence of 22 years in prison: 20 years for the rape conviction, and an additional two years for the assault charge. The District Attorney’s Office expressed gratitude to the jurors for their diligent review of the evidence and wished the victim peace and recovery.