Awaiting Justice: The year following Patrick Murphy’s death

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SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s been one year since a well-known business owner in Schuylkill County was killed. Patrick Murphy, owner of Murphy Jewelers, was stabbed to death in a New Orleans hotel on February 28, 2019.

The news of his death stunned the Schuylkill County community and beyond. Just weeks before Murphy’s death, Eyewitness News spoke with him about his annual “Souper Sale,” it benefited Saint Patrick’s Soup Kitchen in Pottsville. Customers who dropped off canned goods and other items before the big game received up to 50% off store items.

Three weeks later, Eyewitness News was the first local television news outlet to report Murphy’s death.

We initially reported that a man found stabbed to death in New Orleans was believed to be that of a well-known business owner in Schuylkill County. Authorities said Patrick Murphy, owner of Murphy Jewelers, was stabbed to death that morning in a hotel.

According to our affiliate in New Orleans, WWL, the case was being investigated as a deadly stabbing. Police said it happened in a hotel room. Sources said the victim checked into the hotel around 2AM with a woman. A hotel employee found the victim on the floor covered in blood after failing to check out. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Days later, we learned that New Orleans detectives issued an arrest warrant for that woman, 25-year-old Magen Hall of Tennessee. She was wanted on second-degree murder charges. Detectives did not say what the motive was for the killing.

In early March, the woman wanted for the death of the Schuylkill County businessman was jailed. Hall surrendered to New Orleans Police. According to police, she was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Murphy.

At the time, Murphy’s friends said they don’t want to focus on how he died, rather how he lived.

Funeral services were set for Murphy. A mass of Christian burial was set to take place on March 13th at Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Pottsville.

The day of his funeral, hundreds of people mourned the loss of the beloved businessman. The owner of Murphy Jewelers was very active in business and charitable projects in the county.

That same day, Magen Hall was supposed to have a hearing, but it was postponed until March 28th.

Pottsville Mayor Jim Muldowney honored the late businessman at his 2019 “State of the City Address.” Mayor Muldowney began his speech with a moment of silence in honor of Murphy or “Pat” as he called him. The mayor said Murphy dedicated his life to the community.

In late March, Hall was scheduled in court. During the preliminary hearing, a judge decided there was enough evidence to move forward with charges.

In early June, the woman accused of killing Murphy was indicted for murder. According to the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office, a grand jury handed down the indictment against Hall. She was charged with second-degree murder, armed robbery and obstruction of justice. Hall faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the murder charge.

In December 2019, we learned Hall’s trial was set to begin in Murphy’s slaying. She was scheduled to go on trial as early as January 2020, but the trial was then postponed.

Hall’s murder trial is expected to begin April 20th.

She remains jailed at the Orleans Justice Center in lieu of $750,000 bail.

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