Where is Melissa Turner today? Start Here

Melissa Turner

CBS 48 Hours recently looked at the stabbing death of Matthew Trussler in 2019 by his fiancee Melissa Turner. The synopsis for Melissa Turner’s Closing Act reads: “A cosplay actor finds herself in the spotlight when she’s accused of murdering her boyfriend. Can she convince a jury it was self defense?”

Melissa was charged with second-degree murder hours after calling 911 to report that she’d found Trussler unresponsive near their swimming pool. Melissa initially said she couldn’t remember the events of the nights before. However, when the police presented evidence from a security camera facing the home, she admitted to stabbing Trussler in self-defense. 

Melissa is incarcerated at Lowell Correctional Institution

Melissa Turner was sentenced to 20.5 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Matthew Trussler. She’s imprisoned at Lowell Correctional Institution in Marion County. Melissa will be 50 years old if she leaves prison at her current release date, which, according to state prison records, is 27th April 2042. 

“Matthew Trussler didn’t have to die,” juror Donald Goodwin told 48 Hours. “Melissa Turner chose to kill Matthew Trussler. Do I think it was premeditated? Absolutely not. Do I think she’s guilty? Absolutely.”

Melissa testified through tears that Trussler was an abusive alcoholic. Melissa said that on the fateful day, Matthew woke her up after a day of drinking. She said he choked her, threw her over a counter, and grabbed a knife. She stated that she stabbed Trussler after he started strangling her. 

“I loved him, and I didn’t want to do that to him,” she said in court. “The last thing that he wanted, he always tried to hide his drinking, his mental health and how depressed he was he tried to hide it from everyone, the last thing that he would want for the world to know any of it.”

Melissa’s mother testified on her daughter’s behalf, saying Melissa had never been a confrontational person. However, authorities revealed that Melissa waited four hours after the stabbing to seek help. 

They also provided surveillance footage that caught Melissa saying things like ‘I hate you’, ‘go fuck yourself’, and ‘so fucking die’. Melissa’s attorney John Trevena alleged that Melissa’s voice in the recording was amplified to make it seem like she was screaming. 

“Further, there are issues of self-defense and heat of passion,” Trevena said. The defense failed to convince the six-person jury that Melissa was innocent. “This jury did not believe her claims of self-defense nor does this court,” the judge said. 

Matthew’s brother said that Melissa manipulated Matthew into making adult films

Melissa Turner and Matthew Trussler
Melissa Turner and Matthew Trussler

Matthew grew up alongside his brother, Sean, in Massachusetts. In 2015, Matthew followed his brother to Florida to work with him in construction. “He was a really good kid,” Sean told 48 Hours. “He worked so hard. He had the biggest heart. He loved everybody and everything.”

Melissa met Matthew on Tinder in April 2017. “I just liked how different Matt treated me … he made me feel more important. … he drew me in,” Melissa said. In 2019, the couple bought a house together. 

Sean said the couple didn’t appear to have many problems, but the veneer hid a tumultuous relationship. People knew Melissa was a cosplay model but were oblivious to Matthew’s role in Melissa’s videos. 

The family learned after Matthew’s death that she cast Matthew as her partner in the adult videos. Sean speculated that Matthew was initially content with the money he and Melissa made, but the profession got too much for him. 

“I think maybe that night he was like, ‘Yo, I’m done with this. I’m washing my hands,'” Sean said. Matthew’s brother said he hadn’t seen Matthew during the last six months of his life because they had a falling out and Melissa kept him from his family. 

“She just totally isolated him, and her, from the rest of the world. … and the truth is, like … how controlling and manipulating Rose was,” Sean said. 

During the trial, Sean described Melissa as manipulative: “This is not a story about a poor innocent girl. This is a woman who intentionally isolated and manipulated a good kid away from his loving supportive family.”