If Roland Myrie's girlfriend had known he'd blown his first wife's head off with a handgun during a 1990 argument in New York City, she might not have cursed at him after he made sexual advances toward her teenage sister.
But the 27-year-old Lake Forest woman didn't know. Besides, she'd shared a yearlong love affair with Myrie, who did chores around her house while she worked at an Orange County Kmart. Despite his criminal past and her addiction to vodka and orange juice, their life together had been relatively trauma-free until the evening of Nov. 14, 2005. After the couple returned home from a trip to Best Buy, the woman's 17-year-old sister, who shared an apartment with the couple, revealed that Myrie had sought sex with her earlier that day.
The woman—victim of incestuous rape as a minor—exploded in rage, cursed at him for hours, ordered him to move out the next day and went to bed intoxicated at about 1:30 a.m. Two hours later, she awoke to see a fully dressed Myrie sitting on the edge of their bed and staring at her. She fell back to sleep. Then Myrie plunged a large kitchen knife deep into her stomach, striking her spinal column, and tried to cover her head with a pillow.
In another room, the woman's sister heard a loud thump, a scream, and then, “Please stop, Roland!” She entered the room, saw the bloody mess and demanded that Roland give her the cell phone he was holding so she could call an ambulance. He refused. She used another phone.
When an Orange County sheriff's deputy arrived, the victim expressed relief and asked him not to leave her side. Later, she underwent surgery for a perforated colon. During her recovery, she told a detective that Myrie had stabbed her.
From jail, Myrie—who served a decade in prison for the New York killing—wrote her a love letter: “I am so sorry with all my heart. I love you so much that my heart is crying out. Roland love you. Roland love you with all my heart. Do not think that I cheated on you. But you hurt me . . . Roland love you. Love you. Love Roland. Please come to see me.”
Afterward, the woman recanted her story by telling prosecutors that she'd stabbed herself. At trial, she refused to budge. But a jury didn't believe her. Perhaps jurors were impressed by a surgeon’s testimony that he believed the angle and force of the stab wound proved it hadn't been self-inflicted.
For less than a minute's worth of stupidity, Myrie will spend at least the next 25 years in a California prison.
(Wednesday at OCWeekly.com discover the depths of human depravity in Orange County, California.)
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly