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Escapee Patrick Murphy found guilty of murder (Texas Seven escapee/cop killer)
The Dallas Morning News ^ | November 13, 2003 | By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 11/13/2003 2:12:08 PM PST by MeekOneGOP

Escapee Patrick Murphy found guilty of murder

01:46 PM CST on Thursday, November 13, 2003

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

A Dallas County jury found Patrick Murphy Jr. guilty of capital murder Thursday in the death of an Irving police officer.

It took the jury about an hour and 10 minutes to reach the verdict. The punishment phase of the trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

"The evidence could not be more damning for Patrick Murphy," prosecutor Bill H. Wirskye told jurors during his closing argument.

He pointed at Mr. Murphy, 42, who acted as lookout while his fellow escapees held up an Irving sporting good store on Christmas Eve 2000. Officer Hawkins was killed when he pulled up to investigate, struck by 11 shots linked by investigators to five different guns.

"You don't have to pull the trigger to kill someone," Mr. Wirskye said. "He's got Aubrey Hawkins' blood on his hands."

Mr. Murphy, dressed in a gray pinstriped suit, sat silently during the hour-long closing arguments, which began at 9 a.m. Thursday.

State District Judge Vickers Cunningham ordered the jury to either convict Mr. Murphy of capital murder or aggravated robbery, or to acquit him on the charges based on the evidence presented.

The prosecution argued that Mr. Murphy radioed Officer Hawkins' location to the other members of the gang while he waited outside the Oshman's SuperSports USA store, armed with four loaded guns.

The defense argued that Mr. Murphy never intended to kill Officer Hawkins.

"You cannot convict someone of something they didn't want to happen," Juan Sanchez, Mr. Murphy's attorney, told the jury.

"You just can't find somebody guilty by association. If he's guilty of anything, he's guilty of robbery."

Mr. Murphy stood silently as the jury foreman read the guilty verdict. He took a ring from his finger and handed it to his lawyer before sheriff's deputies led him away, his ankles in shackles. Mr. Murphy nodded to Judge Cunningham as the deputies led him out of the courtroom.

Irving Police Chief Lowell Cannaday said he was pleased with the verdict.

"I feel confident that justice will be done," he said.

Chief Cannaday said that his officers have been closely monitoring the trial.

"I'm sure that the verdict is all over their pagers and cell phones already."

The chief said that in light of this case and the rash of police shootings in Dallas County, officers need to be ever more vigilant.

"We try to maintain a constant theme of officer safety," Chief Cannaday said.

Mr. Murphy is the last member of the so-called Texas Seven prison gang to stand trial, and faces life in prison or the death penalty if convicted. Juries have sentenced five gang members to death. The seventh escapee killed himself rather than surrender to police.

The men broke out of the Connally Unit prison near San Antonio on Dec. 13, 2000, and committed a string of robberies that culminated with the holdup of the Irving Oshman's store.

Officer Hawkins had just finished a holiday dinner with family at a restaurant just across the highway when he was dispatched to investigate suspicious activity at the store. He was ambushed when he drove up as the men were loading a cache of stolen guns, camping supplies and more than $70,000 in cash.

The men fled to Colorado, where they lived in an RV park near Colorado Springs for about three weeks until a neighbor recognized them from media reports and alerted police.


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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aubreyhawkins; irving; patrickmurphy; patrickmurphyjr; texas
Six trials, six convictions ! Way to go prosecutors !
The previous five have brought death penalties. This one might, too.
The jury took only one hour and ten minutes to decide on guilt.

1 posted on 11/13/2003 2:12:13 PM PST by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
Six for six!

Justice for Aubry Hawkins!

2 posted on 11/13/2003 2:40:46 PM PST by Catspaw
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To: MeeknMing
Thank heaven they didn't have a Durst jury.
3 posted on 11/13/2003 2:42:28 PM PST by OldFriend (DEMS INHABIT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE)
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