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Lauren MorganCHATTANOOGA, TN — A woman with no legs has admitted to beating her 73-year-old boyfriend to death with a crowbar.

According to police, James Masingill pleaded for his life as his girlfriend, 48-year-old Laura Morgan, used a crowbar to bludgeon him to death from her wheelchair. Afterwards, she took $200 from his wallet and went out to buy some crack.

When she returned home a couple hours later, she called 911 and told the dispatcher what she had done. Responding police would find Morgan in her wheelchair on the front porch of the home, and would locate Masingill’s body in the living room.

Morgan has been charged with first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. According to court records, Morgan has prior convictions for prostitution and drug possession.

Morgan and Masingill have been dating for 17 years and neighbors say that the victim was just trying to help Morgan turn her life around. Morgan’s family say that she was simply acting in self-defense.

“She told me they had been arguing and he came after her with a crowbar and swung at her and hit her in the hand with it and she was able to push him down and grab the crowbar, and that she hit him in the head and killed him,” Morgan’s niece, Carisa Holewinski says.

Holewinski did admit that Morgan and Masingill’s relationship had turned rocky after Morgan had both of her legs amputated.

According to a June police report, Masingill contacted police claiming Morgan threatened to “get him while he was sleeping.” Morgan said she didn’t mean it and was just mad at Masingill for nagging her over cooking. No one was charged, but police say Masingill had police take a ball bat and machete with them for his safety.

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Holewinski says that regardless of what it looks like, Morgan has cleaned up her act and couldn’t have killed Masingill for money to buy drugs.

“I hope that we can fight it and get it for self-defense, considering he’s gone after her before,” Holewinski says. “He shouldn’t have done what he did, but I still do feel bad because I love him.”

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