Trial for wo­man charged in death of Pa­trick Mur­phy post­poned

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Peter E. Bort­ner

POTTSVILLE — Me­gan Hall, the wo­man charged with killing Pottsville busi­ness­man Pa­trick J. Mur­phy in Fe­bru­ary in New Or­leans, will not face a trial un­til Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors.

The trial of Hall, of Ten­nessee, will start Jan. 7, Ken Da­ley, a spokesman for Or­leans Par­ish District At­tor­ney Leon A. Can­niz­zaro Jr., said Tues­day.

Hall’s lawyer, John Fuller, and As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Inga Petro­vich each had an­other trial sched­uled to start Tues­day, ne­ces­si­tat­ing the con­tin­u­ance, ac­cord­ing to Da­ley.

The 26-year-old Hall, whose name also has been spelled Ma­gen Hall in some court doc­u­ments, is charged with sec­ond­de­gree mur­der, armed rob­bery and ob­struc­tion of jus­tice in a homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

She faces a manda­tory life sen­tence if con­victed of sec­ond­de­gree mur­der, with a sen­tence of 10 to 99 years in pri­son, the max­i­mum for armed rob­bery, and up to 40 years be­hind bars for ob­struc­tion of jus­tice in a homi­cide in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The life sen­tence would in­clude no chance of pa­role, Da­ley said.

Prose­cu­tors al­leged Hall stabbed Mur­phy, the owner of Mur­phy Jewel­ers, one of Schuylkill County’s old­est fam­ily busi­nesses, three times, once in the neck and twice in the ab­domen, in the early morn­ing hours of Feb. 28 in a room at the Em­press Ho­tel.

A house­keeper dis­cov­ered Mur­phy’s body at 11:41 a.m. in a room reg­is­tered to Hall, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors.

Video sur­veil­lance cam­eras showed Mur­phy and Hall at 2:10 a.m. ar­riv­ing at the ho­tel to­gether, prose­cu­tors said. Hall was seen leav­ing the ho­tel room alone and briskly walk­ing out the front door at 3:42 a.m., be­lieved to be leav­ing with some of Mur­phy’s pos­ses­sions. No one else was seen en­ter­ing or leav­ing the room un­til the house­keeper eight hours later, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors.

Mur­phy and his fam­ily have op­er­ated Mur­phy Jewel­ers in Pottsville since 1913. In re­cent years, Mur­phy ex­panded the busi­ness, adding lo­ca­tions in Ham­burg, Berks County, and the Prom­e­nade Shops in Up­per Sau­con Town­ship.

MORN­ING CALL FILE PHOTO

Pa­trick J. Mur­phy, owner of Mur­phy Jewel­ers, was killed in a New Or­leans ho­tel in Fe­bru­ary. Me­gan Hall, 26, of Ten­nessee, is charged in the slay­ing and is now sched­uled to face trial in Jan­uary.

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