A Wesleyan University coed who was shot dead earlier this week was not the first person her accused murderer targeted with harassing phone calls and threatening e-mails, the suspect's former Navy buddy told FOXNews.com.
Stephen Morgan, 29 — who is being held on $15 million bond in Wednesday's fatal shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich at the Wesleyan bookstore in Middletown, Conn. — sent disturbing text messages to his onetime pal following his discharge in early 2003. One of the messages read: "In my path towards Divinity, you won't go unused,"
"I dodged a bullet on Wednesday and some poor Jewish girl got it instead," said the 32-year-old veteran, who referred to Morgan as "Psycho Steve" and asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. "I don't want him getting out of jail and trying to find me. He threatened to kill me so many freaking times. I didn't think he'd actually go through with it."
Morgan's former Naval acquaintance — who is Jewish, like Justin-Jinich — said he met the now-accused murderer while in the United Arab Emirates in 1999.
"[Morgan] showed up halfway through our tour and he was definitely an introvert," the man told FOXNews.com. "He was the only person who wasn't part of our crew, so I felt bad for him and kind of took him under my wing. I was just trying to be nice to the new guy."
Morgan and his unidentified confidant continued a military friendship until both left the Navy in late 2002 and early 2003, respectively. That's when thing became scary.
"I’m sure I was his best friend for two years 'cuz he didn't have too many friends," the man said of Morgan. "He lost that when we both got out of the military."
Soon thereafter, threatening phone calls — sometimes up to 30 per day — came pouring in, he said.
"He would call me when he was shaving in the morning and just go off rambling and muttering things," the man said. "He definitely had some anger issues. He was just dissatisfied with his life at that point. He said I had stolen time from him, that the time he spent with me he could've done something else."
The pattern continued, Morgan's former friend said, until he filed two police reports with authorities in Jacksonville, Fla., sometime in mid-2003. Morgan was living in Colorado at the time, so Jacksonville officers suggested that the victim simply change his phone number. The calls and text messages soon stopped.
The man, now 32, said he feels partially responsible for some of the content found in Morgan's journal, including an entry saying, "I think it [sic] okay to kill Jews and go on a killing spree."
"I think the whole anti-Jewish thing came from me," the man said. "He just took too much interest in me. There could've been possible sexual undertones, but it's hard to say."
Wednesday's slaying, which followed a 2007 harassment complaint by Justin-Jinich, did not come as a surprise, Morgan's onetime confidant said.
"He definitely had a propensity for anger," the man said. "That bullet was meant for me. If he could've found me, I'd be dead."