Crime

53 rifles, shotguns, handguns seized after Orange County woman shot husband

What to do if you think a friend might be a victim of domestic violence

Vicki Bourus, executive director of the Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, gives some advice for those wondering what to do if a loved one might be a domestic violence victim.
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Vicki Bourus, executive director of the Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, gives some advice for those wondering what to do if a loved one might be a domestic violence victim.

Investigators seized 53 rifles, shotguns, revolvers and handguns, along with multiple rounds of ammunition, after Teresa Mosser shot her husband in April 2018, according to a search warrant released Monday.

Mosser, 59, of Cedar Grove in northern Orange County, turned herself in to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office last week. She is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, James Mosser, on April 25, 2018.

The Sheriff’s Office said Mosser told deputies she shot her husband in self-defense. The warrant adds that she told them her husband had pulled a gun on her.

Investigator Dawn Hunter, who led the search shortly after the shooting, reported finding seven assault rifles and four rifles with mounted scopes among the firearms taken from the mobile home at 5121 Eno Cemetery Road in Cedar Grove. Investigators also seized firearms accessories, including handgun magazines, holsters and ammunition bags, boxes and belts containing a variety of rounds.

Five used shell casings and shotgun shells were found in the home, and additional ammunition was recovered from a Jeep parked in the driveway, the warrant states.

Investigators also seized, among other items, a swab of blood and a washcloth from the master bathroom, clothing, a USB device, cell phones, a bottle of the sedative Lorazepam, marijuana, computers, a smoked cigar and a cigar tip, Teresa Mosser’s purse, a DNA sample from Teresa Mosser, and gunshot residue kit samples from both Mossers.

Mosser called 911 after the shooting and said she did not know if she had hit her 68-year-old husband, the Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release. Deputies had responded to one other domestic call, a “verbal” situation, at the home in the month before the shooting, it said.

Mosser.jpg
Teresa Mosser was accused of murdering her husband Orange County Sheriff's Office

Shooting details

Teresa Mosser had a 20-gauge shotgun in her hand when she met three deputies on her front porch, the warrant says, and the deputies ordered her to lay it down.

Deputies found James Mosser’s body in a chair in the kitchen, the warrant states. His hands were on his upper legs, deputies reported, and he had a cigar between two fingers of his left hand. A cell phone was by his right hand, they said, “as if it had slipped slightly out of his hand.”

An autopy report released Friday shows James Mosser died of a shotgun wound to the abdomen. Nine buckshot pellets were recovered from the body and body bag, the report said.

Deputies found a revolver and a holster at James Mosser’s feet, and two spent, red 12-gauge shotgun shells were on the floor between his chair and the chair where Teresa Mosser normally sat, the warrant states. A shotgun blast also hit the wall behind James Mosser, the warrant states.

The autopsy did not find “soot, gunpowder stippling, or gunpowder particles” on James Mosser’s hands.

Deputies continued to search the home, finding a 12-gauge shotgun behind a bedroom door. The room smelled like gunpowder, the warrant states, and a spent 20-gauge, yellow shotgun shell was found in the room. A third spent, red 12-gauge shotgun shell was found in another bedroom, it says.

‘Infidelity issues’

Teresa Mosser told deputies that James Mosser had been cheating on her, the search warrant states, noting deputies said the couple had some domestic disputes “over infidelity issues.”

“Teresa made the statement to Inv. J. Ray, that she told James that ‘I’m gonna have to shoot you before the night's over’,” the warrant states.

An arrest warrant charging Teresa Mosser was issued Wednesday “after an extensive investigation” involving the district attorney and a crime scene reenactment, the release said.

Mosser was released Thursday from the Orange County jail on $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 23.

Staff writer Mark Schultz contributed to this report.

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