A prosecutor says there’s fresh evidence of a murder motive in the case of a New Zealand sheep shearer accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death near Kemmerer, Wyoming, who has insisted she acted in self-defense.
Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred has filed a notice of intent to introduce text-message evidence in the case of Monique Sullivan, who is charged with second-degree murder in the February stabbing death of her boyfriend, Andrew Jacob Moore.
The new evidence indicates that Sullivan thought about stabbing Moore 18 hours before she allegedly did so, which contradicts a filing from earlier this month in which Sullivan’s defense attorney Michael Bennett said she grabbed a knife spontaneously because Moore attacked her.
Bennett asked the court to drop the murder charge in light of evidence Sullivan was merely defending herself.
He alleged that Moore was characteristically violent, often drunk, had strangled Sullivan in the past and was particularly furious with her in the days leading up to his stabbing death.
Bennett also noted the upward angle of the knife wound to Moore’s belly, alleging that Moore charged toward Sullivan and pushed her onto the floor of their camper. She grabbed a knife she saw hanging over the counter’s edge above her face and stabbed him to stop his advance.
About To Stab This …
With his notice filed Friday, Allred supplied a copy of the proposed trial evidence: screenshots depicting a text exchange between Sullivan and a coworker.
Most relevant, said Allred, Sullivan was allegedly complaining about Moore on Feb. 19 at 6:38 in the morning.
“I’m about to stab this c***,” reads the text contained in the screen shots.
“Still no good?” asked the coworker in the next text.
“Lol nope he’s a moody c***,” texted Sullivan, according to the evidence copy.
Sullivan the day prior had asked the coworker to get her boyfriend to “steal Andrew cos he’s in a hell of a mood.”
“It’ll be alright,” the coworker texted later that day. “(The coworker’s boyfriend) will have boy talk with Moore.”
“Now he’s in the worst mood,” Sullivan texted later. And later still: “He’s so (expletive) angry so he can cry about it.”
Not Just To Bash People
When prosecutors submit evidence showing people’s character traits, they have to do so to prove something relevant to the case, or the evidence may be rejected.
Allred’s filing says his evidence should show that Sullivan had a motive, and that the stabbing wasn’t a mistake.
Allred also will need to demonstrate to the Lincoln County District Court that the evidence’s potential to make Sullivan look bad doesn’t outweigh its capacity to prove something relevant to the charge.
“There is no other direct evidence in the form of statements from the defendant as to what the defendant’s intentions were in the time leading up to the crime, what the defendant’s motives were or that the defendant’s actions were not a mistake,” argued Allred in a memorandum in support of his motion.
Bennett objects to letting Allred present these texts before a jury, however, so Allred has asked the court to schedule a hearing for the attorneys to argue whether the evidence is admissible.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.