Megan Hall, the woman accused of murdering Pottsville businessman Patrick Murphy, appeared in Orleans Parish magistrate court Thursday.
Here is a moment-by-moment account of the preliminary hearing:
Megan Hall Preliminary Hearing
Megan Hall is accused of murdering Pottsville businessman Patrick Murphy in a seedy hotel room in New Orleans on February 28.
Hall turned herself into police just days after the incident.
She is seeking a reduced bail, at the least, in today’s proceedings.
Hall faces a $750,000 bond. Unable to pay, she’s been in jail since earlier in March. This preliminary hearing was moved back from March 14 due to a state-requested continuance.
Hall faces second-degree murder for killing Patrick Murphy at the Empress Hotel in the Treme section of New Orleans.
Today’s preliminary hearing was heard before Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman. The Assistant District Attorney in charge of the prosecution’s case is Inga Petrovich.
Representing Hall in today’s proceedings is attorney John Fuller.
LIVE UPDATES FROM NEW ORLEANS
4:25 p.m. (Pottsville time): Court is still in session for Tashonty Toney. He’s accused of running a vehicle into a crowd of people in New Orleans the day after Hall allegedly killed Murphy.
According to Matt Sledge of The New Orleans Advocate, the courtroom is packed for these two “high profile” cases:
Friedman’s taken the bench. The courtroom is packed.
— Matt Sledge (@mgsledge) March 28, 2019
4:45 p.m.: The court has made a ruling on the first case on the docket. Hall should be coming up soon.
5:07 p.m.: Still waiting for updates from the courtroom.
5:21 p.m.: Homicide Detective Patrick Guidry on the stand, according to Advocate reporter. Remember, so far all that’s known is Hall entered the Empress with Murphy and was the only one seen leaving the hotel, per surveillance footage provided by Empress ownership.
5:23 p.m.: Det. Guidry says Patrick Murphy died from 3 stab wounds.
5:25 p.m.: Atty. Fuller questioning Guidry … Remember, the goal of the preliminary hearing (for the prosecution) is to present enough evidence to move this case to a trial.
5:34 p.m.: Det. Guidry describes location of 3 stab wounds on Murphy — 2 to the abdomen, 1 to the neck. All stab wounds inflicted on the front of Murphy’s body.
5:42 p.m.: Atty. Fuller asks detective if other evidence is recovered — such as evidence you might find from two adults having sex. Remember, Murphy apparently paid for Hall’s prostitute services the night he died. Question thrown out.
Fuller asks whether cops recovered any evidence “consistent with typical adult relations,” which is a little too euphemistic for Commissioner Friedman. “I’m trying not to be too graphic,” Fuller says. Frieman sustains an objection from the state on this line of questions.
— Matt Sledge (@mgsledge) March 28, 2019
5:52 p.m.: Atty. Fuller begins arguing for reduction of second-degree murder charge. Says wounds were to the front and even if all evidence points to Hall as the killer, “it’s manslaughter at most,” quotes Sledge of The Advocate.
5:54 p.m.: Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich says 3 stab wounds is the very definition of intent to kill.
5:57 p.m.: Friedman says state has “probable cause” to arrest Hall on second-degree murder. Hall’s bail remains at $750,000. Instructs Atty. Fuller he can apply for reduced bail at a later date.
Check out our previous coverage of the Patrick Murphy murder case:
- Patrick Murphy Murder: Serious Questions About Empress Hotel
- Funeral Arrangements for Patrick Murphy Announced
- What Will Megan Hall Say in Defense of Killing Patrick Murphy?
- “Get in the Bathroom!” Last Words Pat Murphy Likely Heard
- Will the DA Seek Lesser Charges in the Death of Patrick Murphy?
- Murphy Murder Suspect Arrested Sunday in NOLA
- Schuylkill County Residents Trolling Pat Murphy’s Alleged Murderer on Facebook
- Murphy Murder Suspect Has Illicit History, Faces 2nd Degree Murder
- Pottsville Expressing Grief Over Pat Murphy’s Murder
- Pottsville Businessman Pat Murphy Murdered in New Orleans