A state police corporal is expected back on the witness stand today in the Kevin Murphy triple-murder trial. Murphy is charged with three counts of first degree murder in the slayings of his mother, sister, and aunt in April 2009 at the family glass business in Loyalhanna Township, Westmoreland County.
Yesterday, Corporal Robert Depew testified that police properly followed up on tips they received after the shootings, including one from a bartender in Avonmore, who reported that three men dressed in hunter’s camouflage came in and asked for directions to the Ferguson Glass Shop hours before the killings. Depew said they could turn up no evidence on the men, nor on a tip from PA Crimestoppers that a man with a similar name to Kevin Murphy’s was the intended victim of the three mysterious men in a drug deal, and that they went to the glass shop mistakenly thinking Murphy was the one they were seeking.
Also taking the stand yesterday was Dr. Cyril Wecht, the noted pathologist who performed the autopsies on the victims. He said that all three women were shot in the head from close range and from behind, and that the mother, Doris Murphy, may have remained alive for about twenty seconds. The others died instantly. Doris Murphy was shot twice, Kris Murphy three times, and Edith Tietge once.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty against Murphy. The defense claims police arrested the wrong man.