MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Berkeley County jury on Tuesday found defendant Steven Morgan guilty of attempted murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Circuit Court Judge R. Markley Dennis Jr. sentenced Morgan to the maximum 30 years for each of the first three offenses and ran those sentences concurrent with a 40-year sentence for Burglary in the First degree.
He was given another consecutive five years for the possession of a weapon charge for a total of forty-five years in prison.
The Goose Creek victim, who lived alone, was asleep in her home at the time of the break-in and subsequent attack. Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams said that at approximately 4:00 a.m., Morgan broke into the victim's home and brutally beat and sexually assaulted her.
Morgan gained entry into the home by shattering a sliding glass door with a large piece of wood and charging toward the upstairs of the home with a knife. A neighbor heard the initial sound of glass breaking but didn't realize it came from the victim's home so failed to call the police initially.
The defendant brutally attacked the victim, beating and sexually assaulting her before leaving about four hours later. Bound and gagged in an upstairs bedroom, the victim was able to finally free herself and crawl downstairs, where a passerby discovered her in the front doorway of her home.
She suffered from broken bones, lacerations, and extensive bruising about her face and neck. The victim was transported to MUSC where she remained for over a week.
"The victim is still recovering from her injuries and showed incredible resilience throughout the attack and at the trial; we are hoping she can finally begin to put this behind her," Williams said.
After the attack, Morgan fled to Georgia, where he was apprehended several days later. His DNA was recovered from the crime scene and the knife and some of the victim's belongings were recovered from his truck at the time of his arrest.
The case was prosecuted by Williams and Deputy Solicitor Bryan Alfaro. The defendant will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.