Mississippi County alleged attack victim speaks out

By Zakk Gammon - bio | email

EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - The alleged attack happened last Sunday night. The victim says two women came to her door, and after an argument, forced their way in and starting beating her before a neighbor finally saw it and called police.

"My children usually come in around that time. My sister had just left, so I didn't look out the door," said Heather McCurter.

McCurter says that's now something she considers a mistake. She says she was cleaning her house when she got a knock on the door.

"She started pointing her finger in my face and I told her don't come up here starting no trouble. It was my house and her mom came from nowhere and hit me in the eye. They pushed their way into my house," McCurter said.

McCurter says 18-year-old Lacie Melton and her mother, Tammy Byassee, starting hitting her. The fight allegedly started in the living room and went on into the house.

"We ended up fighting from here," McCurter said as she pointed around the living room. "I was looking for my cell phone so I went into my kitchen looking for it, ended up fighting in there."

Melton apparently accused McCurter's sister of driving by her home.  That's when the fighting allegedly started.  McCurter claims she didn't fight back because Melton is pregnant and didn't want to hurt the baby.  McCurter claims her 17-month-old daughter was inside the home as well.

However, according to Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney Darren Cann, she would have been well within her rights.

"Under Missouri Law, you have the right to protect yourself in your own home," said Cann. "I'll let each homeowner decide how they want to best protect themselves."

Cann says Melton and Byassee were arrested and held for several hours, then released. Warrants were then issued for the two on Friday.

As of Monday evening, Melton is back in custody, but the Sheriff's Department does not have Byassee.

"In the end, they're gonna be punished just like everyone else," said McCurter.

Cann did want to be clear, the suspects are innocent until proven guilty. Heartland News tried to contact Byassee at her workplace, but was told she was not there.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.