Officials release tape of mother's 911 call

Aaron Moricoli is charged with the Oct. 16 murder of his older brother, Jimmy Moricoli.

GOOSE CREEK — It was a desperate mother's call for help as her son lay cold and motionless on a mattress in the family dining room.

"I think he's dead!" Loretta Lake cried out to a 911 operator.

Officials on Friday released the 911 recording in the Oct. 16 case of a brother accused of killing his sibling by striking him in the head with a cast-iron frying pan.

It was the end of two nightmarish weeks for the 71-year-old mother of three sons. She had kept herself locked in her bedroom because one son, J. Leroy "Jimmy" Moricoli, 46, wanted her prescription medication and threatened to kill her to get it. Now he was dead, and she told the emergency operator that his younger brother could have dealt the fatal blow.

Aaron Moricoli, 38, then called someone else and admitted that he killed his sibling, an affidavit said. He was charged with murder that day, and on Thursday, a circuit judge set his bond at $50,000. His disabled mother said the family cannot afford to pay his bail.

An affidavit said Aaron Moricoli mortally wounded the older brother without just cause or provocation that morning, but his mother said she believes he was trying to protect her from Jimmy Moricoli.

Jimmy Moricoli had been released from jail on Oct. 4 after serving time for larceny and an attempted arson charge from February, when he tried to set his mother's bedroom door on fire. Despite his previous threats against her, she took him in and gave a place to sleep on a mattress on the dining-room floor.

It wasn't long though before her possessions started disappearing and Jimmy Moricoli was back on drugs, she said. At night, he raged, banging loudly on her bedroom door and trying to get inside to the narcotic medication she takes for a painful diabetic foot condition.

On Oct. 16, he stabbed something sharp into the door, over and over again, then started smashing away at the lock.

Suddenly though, the house went quiet and she eventually fell asleep. Hours later, Aaron Moricoli knocked on the door and said Jimmy was dead, his mother said.

Lake said recently that she wants people to know that Jimmy Moricoli wasn't all bad.

"He loved me," she said.

She is standing by Aaron Moricoli and speaks with him often by phone, she said.