Trial for woman charged in death of Patrick Murphy postponed
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.
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.