Local News

Man pleads guilty to repeatedly raping Raleigh woman

Posted October 10, 2011

— A Superior Court judge on Monday sentenced a Smithfield man to more than 32 years in prison for breaking into a 22-year-old woman's apartment and raping her several times.

Mitchell Dean Morrison, 26, of 4163 N.C. Highway 210, pleaded guilty in Wake County Superior Court to three counts each of first-degree rape and first-degree sex offense, as well as one count of first-degree burglary.

Judge Howard Manning sentenced Morrison to 240 to 297 months on the rape charges. Morrison was also sentenced to a minimum of 150 to 189 months for the sex offense and burglary charges – that sentence begins at the end of the first.

"There's nothing about this situation that has anything positive about it at all," Manning said during his ruling.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Melanie Shekita told Manning that the woman woke up in the early hours of Oct. 25 to find Morrison standing in her bedroom holding a kitchen knife and that he repeatedly punched and slapped her, cut her throat, bit her and forced her to have sex with him over the next six hours.

"She was doing whatever she had to do to keep herself alive," Shekita said.

That included pretending to like him.

"He said she was too beautiful to kill," Shekita added. "He told her he loved her."

Man pleads guilty to repeatedly raping Raleigh woman Man pleads guilty to repeatedly raping Raleigh woman

Eventually, the victim convinced Morrison to let her go to the bathroom, which is when she ran into her roommate's room and called 911. Her roommate held Morrison at gunpoint until police arrived.

Shekita said Morrison and the woman met briefly once through an acquaintance but that she did not know him.

"I've seen his face every day since Oct. 24," the woman said in court Monday. "He took everything away from me. He haunts me to this day."

The woman said the experience has ruined her relationships with others, that she has nightmares and that she wanted to kill herself after the attack.

She has sought counseling and is trying to move on with her life.

"I can't be a normal 23-year-old girl anymore," she said. "I fear everyone."

Defense attorney Bill Finn said Morrison was ashamed by what he did. A victim of child sex abuse by his mother, he pleaded guilty because he knew what it was like to testify and he wanted help the victim move on with her life.

"I know no words will ever right this wrong. Every day I pray that God will forgive me. I pray that she will find peace," Morrison, a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard, addressed to the court. "Nobody should have had to go though what she did. It was not right. It should have never happened. I'm so sorry for the life I took away from her."


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  • oldrwizr Oct 11, 2011


    Finally, some kind, constructive words from a Christian. That's not something you see much since the church was kidnapped and held hostage by the right-wing.

  • ncmom101 Oct 11, 2011

    Tragic story in every way. No doubt both families are suffering, I can't imagine if this was my daughter...or my son. Agree w/comments of Atthecross86 and will say a prayer for all in this case.

  • busyb97 Oct 11, 2011

    atthecross - yes, Jesus did forgive the criminal at the cross that day, but the man still died for his crimes.

    I watched this story on the news last night, and they mentioned his "excuse" was that he was drunk and on drugs. And then they said he attacked her for 6 HOURS...I'm sorry. What drug and alcohol has you stoned or drunk for THAT LONG?? And the "my mommy messed me up" argument is lame. Sad for him growing up, but take responsibility. At least in the end, he did that by pleading guilty and taking responsibility for his crime, for the most part (except for the 'victim' angle).

  • Desiderata Oct 11, 2011

    Ok, How did he get in..hope they secure theri home better after this. I missed it too, where was the roommate during this ? Sorry that she endured all that she did..Be strong. You lived to tell your story and put him away,there are others that were not so lucky...May you find peace maybe not today, tomorrow,,but one day..

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Oct 10, 2011


    Good points!


  • Ripcord Oct 10, 2011

    "Oh yeah. Get a gun. That will do a lot of good. Unless you carry it on your person at all times in the house, odds are this guy will get to you before you get to your gun. Pull a gun and he really gets mad...."

    The fact that her friend had a gun DID make a difference in this case.

    And "Pull a gun and he really gets mad"... ? No, he'll get shot.

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Oct 10, 2011


    WOW! If everyone thought the way you did, this would would be much more peaceful and forgiving. I wish I could say I think that way, but I'm out for blood.

    This man should die. (But, I definitely respect your opinion and I do see where you are coming from).


  • atthecross86 Oct 10, 2011

    A criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus found forgiveness even in his last moments (Luke 23:42-43) NKJV

    23) Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 24) And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43 NKJV)

    Although it may be for different reasons, I’m guessing both families are suffering a tremendous heartache and loss. Instead of the angry, bitter an unproductive comments maNy feel the need to post; why not take that time to say a small prayer for all those who have suffered in this tragedy… it would be much more productive.

  • Southern Girl Oct 10, 2011

    Why not life or death for him? That doesn't make any sense.

  • NCSU_JIM Oct 10, 2011

    he should get the death penalty