Longtime Las Vegas defense attorney Marc Saggese, who represented Morales in a Nevada criminal case, said Tuesday that Morales claimed he suffered a severe brain injury when he was hit in the head with a baseball bat at age 17, and that he hears voices and has trouble controlling his impulses.
"He said that ever since that attack and subsequent surgeries he has been struggling with demons in his head," Saggese said.
While in a jail medical ward, Morales mutilated his genitals and scrawled words in blood on the wall. He underwent a psychological examination by doctors at a Nevada state mental hospital in Sparks, but he was found competent to stand trial, the attorney said.
Morales eventually pleaded guilty in 2008 to sexually assaulting a woman at an apartment blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip in 2003. The woman told police a man jumped from her closet in the middle of the night, held a gun to her face, blindfolded her, attacked her several times and left after telling her he would kill her if she called police, according to Clark County District Court documents.
Following his conviction in Las Vegas, Morales was sent to Florida to face prior charges, Las Vegas police Officer Laura Meltzer said.
Back in Miami, Morales was sentenced to 10 years in prison in December after pleading guilty to sexual battery with a deadly weapon, burglary with assault and kidnapping stemming from 2003. He broke into a Miami-area home, pulled out a butcher knife and raped two women, according to a police report.