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A woman who had a small role in a Marvel film but who is now accused of having killed her mother claimed to have done so out of self-defense.
Mollie Fitzgerald, a 38-year-old actress who portrayed “Stark Girl” in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” was arrested in Olathe, Kansas last month and is facing a second-degree murder charge for allegedly killing her mother, 68-year-old Patricia Fitzgerald. However, according to court records released this week, Mollie Fitzgerald told authorities that she was forced to kill her mother in order to protect herself — claims that are not supported by the findings of the medical examiner’s office, Olathe police say.
Fitzgerald called 911 from her mother’s home at around noon on Dec. 20 and told a dispatcher that her mother tried to kill her with a knife and that she had taken the knife and killed her mother, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. When police arrived, they found Fitzgerald unarmed and placed her in the back of a patrol car, handcuffed, while they carried out a search of the residence; in addition to signs of a struggle, such as overturned furniture, they found Patricia Fitzgerald lying unresponsive on the floor just inside the entrance. A knife had been plunged into her back and blood was pooling around her body, police said. After life-saving techniques were unsuccessful, she was pronounced dead on the scene.
After authorities observed minor injuries on Mollie Fitzgerald, including cuts on her hands and a bite mark on the inside of her left arm, they transported her to a local hospital to undergo treatment, police said. Law enforcement officials interviewed Fitzgerald while she was at the hospital, and she admitted to hitting her mother with a vacuum cleaner attachment and biting her, but she again claimed that her mother was the one to initiate the altercation by rushing her with a knife and that she was forced to stab her multiple times, the affidavit states.
“Mollie said her mother just would not stop trying to take the knife to kill her, so she had to kill her mom,” Sgt. Brian Little wrote in the report.
However, an autopsy of Patricia Fitzgerald does not support her daughter’s claims, according to court documents. Dr. Ransom Ellis, who performed the post-mortem examination on Dec. 21, said that Patricia Fitzgerald, who’d been stabbed four times in her back, had what he referred to as “defensive injuries” on both sides of both of her hands that suggested that she’d been involved in a struggle. One of her thumbs had been nearly completely cut off from her hand; there were bruises on her face, as well as bruising on her neck that suggested someone had attempted to strangle her, he said. Conversely, he found no injuries that would constitute evidence that she’d hit anyone or had ever wielded the knife used to kill her, court documents state.
Patricia Fitzgerald’s husband, who told police that their daughter had begun living with them in June of that year, was not present during the incident but said that it was unlikely that his wife would try to “physically control” Mollie due to being older and weaker than her, according to the affidavit. The man, whose name was redacted in court documents, also said that Mollie’s “aggressive behavior” had been “escalating” recently, and that he and his wife typically tried to remove themselves from the situation at such times.
Mollie Fitzgerald’s bond was set at $500,000 and she appeared in Johnson County District Court via video on Jan. 2, where she told a judge that she would be acting as her own attorney in the case. The actress, whose IMDb profile also lists her as a director and producer, told the court that she earned a law degree from the University of Houston, according to The Kansas City Star.
In addition to her small role in 2014’s “Captain America,” she is also credited with having produced several short films.
What led to Patricia Fitzgerald’s death is still unclear. Her husband doesn't appear to have commented publicly on her death, but her brother, Gary Hunziker, told The Kansas City Star earlier this month that he does not know many details of what happened.
“We were shocked,” he said, adding, “it doesn’t matter the circumstances — the loss of a sister is what it’s all about.”
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