On Thursday, we learned more details about Pottsville businessman Patrick Murphy’s final moments alive.
At a preliminary hearing for his accused killer, a New Orleans police detective testified that Magen Hall stabbed Murphy 3 times inside a dingy hotel room off the French Quarter.
Twice in the abdomen and once in the neck, according to reporting from Matt Sledge of The New Orleans Advocate.
Just hours earlier, Murphy paid for that room for he and Hall. Presumably, that was the setting for whatever Murphy paid Hall, a prostitute, to do.
When it was over, Hall allegedly left Murphy to die, bleeding out from those stab wounds.
Thursday’s hearing determined police had probable cause to pursue second-degree murder charges against Hall. The hearing also denied Hall reduced bail.
Hall remains in a New Orleans jail, unable to post her $750,000 bond. Her second-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life sentence.
More Details in the Patrick Murphy Murder Case
The preliminary hearing on Thursday determined two things:
- Probable cause for NOPD to arrest Hall on second-degree murder
- No reduced bail for Hall
However, if you think this puts another nail in Hall’s proverbial coffin, her attorney suggested otherwise on Thursday.
Magistrate Commissioner Johnathan Friedman presided over Thursday’s preliminary hearing. The hearing was postponed two weeks to March 28.
Hall has been in lockup since March 3. That’s when she turned herself into police, who identified her as the lone suspect in Murphy’s killing.
At the hearing, just one witness was called: New Orleans Police detective Patrick Guidry.
Guidry says Hall stabbed Murphy 3 times the night she killed him. On surveillance video, Guidry says he saw no indication that Murphy or Hall were at the Empress against their will. And Hall left the hotel alone several hours later.
During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich argued that 3 stab wounds and leaving Murphy to die in their hotel room shows an intent to kill.
The judge agreed with the prosecution ruling in favor of probable cause for second-degree murder.
Defense: Definitely Not Murder
Hall’s attorney, John Fuller, tried to show that murder was a reach, at best.
In questioning Guidry during the hearing, he noted that all 3 stab wounds were on the front of Murphy’s body. He says that and eyewitness testimony from other Empress Hotel guests that night indicate there was a struggle. And that struggle resulted in Hall stabbing Murphy.
Remember, during the early course of the investigation, guests at the Empress that night reported hearing a loud argument coming from Murphy and Hall’s room. A woman was heard yelling, “GET IN THE BATHROOM!” Presumably, that was Hall yelling at Murphy.
Fuller tried to bring up the fact that Hall was a prostitute and Murphy bought her services that night. His questioning of the police detective regarding any of that was tossed out by Friedman.
According to Sledge’s reporting for The Advocate, Fuller asked, “Were you able to recover any video of any interactions they had that night, whether it was at a barroom, a club?”
Before the close of the hearing, Fuller argued for Hall.
He said a woman intent on murder does not check into a hotel room using her own ID.
If you’ll recall, Hall and Murphy briefly entered the Empress Hotel on Feb. 28. They left quickly and then re-entered. According to the owner of the Empress Hotel, he suggested there was some sort of “negotiation” in that conversation.
The two then entered the hotel. Murphy paid for the room but Hall reserved it under her own name with her own ID.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you want to commit a crime or a murder or any crime, the last thing you’re going to do is leave a copy of your ID at the front desk,” Sledge reports Fuller saying in court.
Fuller is also quoted as saying “Stay tuned” when he was asked if Hall would claim self-defense in this case.
It’s clear Hall is waiting to tell her side of this story. But, we still aren’t sure what she’ll say.
Also, Sledge reports that Hall actually uses the first name Magen, not Megan. Coal Region Canary thanks Advocate Reporter Matt Sledge for his reporting throughout Thursday’s preliminary hearing.
Check out our previous coverage of the Patrick Murphy murder case:
- Minute-by-Minute Account of Preliminary Hearing
- 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