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South Dakota Murder Suspect Cites Mental Illness

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A Texas woman charged with killing a South Dakota man a year and a half ago says she has psychiatric problems and has been victimized by a life of crime and drugs.

Letisha Morgan, 34, is jailed in Dallas in the death of her boyfriend in Texas and in the October 2010 death of Howard Allen, 52, in the Sioux Falls apartment where he lived alone. She told KSFY-TV in an on-camera interview that she has been diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“I blank out and I can’t remember anything,” she said. “And you know, I don’t know what goes on. But when I come to I’m in jail, I’m in trouble.”

Morgan said she was working as a prostitute in Sioux Falls when she met Allen at a soup kitchen.

“I had a relapse there and I stabbed him about 13 or 14 times,” she said.

Authorities allege that Morgan stabbed Allen 37 times in the chest, back and groin, using three knives because they kept bending and breaking. They have charged her with murder but say she might not face prosecution in South Dakota if she is convicted in Texas and receives a life sentence.

Sioux Falls police say they found Morgan’s identification card from a Texas homeless shelter in Allen’s apartment, identified her as a person of interest and even traveled to Dallas to interview her, according to the Argus Leader newspaper. South Dakota authorities did not charge her until Tuesday, alleging that she confessed to Allen’s killing while being questioned by Dallas police officers earlier this month.

Morgan said that if she ends up with a lengthy prison term, “I’m not looking at that as a bad thing.”

“I’m looking at that as a good thing, because I need to rest,” she said. “My body is tired … my mind is totally corrupted.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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