Original report below:
Magen Hall appeared in a New Orleans courtroom today for a pre-trial conference. She’s now less than two weeks away from heading to trial on charges she murdered Pottsville businessman Patrick Murphy back in February.
Patrick Murphy Murder Trial Date Set for Oct. 8
According to court records, Hall was accompanied by a trio of attorneys Thursday. New Orleans attorneys Marcus Delarge and Greg Carter joined John Fuller in Orleans Parish criminal court Thursday with Hall.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins represented the prosecution in court on Thursday.
Hall faces second-degree murder, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice charges related to an incident that happened at the seedy Empress Hotel in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood on Feb. 28.
If Hall’s convicted on the murder charge, she faces a mandatory life sentence.
In court Thursday, the judge held the Oct. 8 trial date originally set over the summer.
Speedy Trial? Unusual for New Orleans Justice
The pace of this case goes against norms, according to several Louisiana court experts The Canary has contacted in the last several weeks. We were told to expect delays in the schedule but none have happened.
So, Hall now goes to trial just about 7 months after she allegedly stabbed Murphy to death inside a room at the Empress Hotel.
Hall Faces Life in Prison for Murphy’s Death
Magen (aka Megan) Hall has been in prison since early March. She turned herself in to police just a few days after allegedly stabbing Murphy to death inside a room at the Empress Hotel.
The two rented the room together, with Hall using her ID to secure the room. Hall, a known prostitute, and Murphy retired to the Empress Hotel on the night of Feb. 27/28. After being in the room for a short time, witnesses staying in the hotel that night recall hearing a loud commotion.
Leading up to today’s court appearance, we’ve learned that prosecutors believe Hall stabbed Murphy 3 times in the chest, leaving him to bleed to death inside that hotel room.
According to our reports, the only words heard that night reportedly coming from that hotel room were Hall yelling to Murphy to “get in the bathroom”. She’s then seen on surveillance footage exiting the hotel alone.
What to Expect at the Patrick Murphy Murder Trial
This case captured the attention of thousands of Schuylkill County residents since news of Murphy’s death broke. Emotions from locals have ranged from shock and sadness to condemnation of the entire situation.
Canary readers have wondered why Hall would use her ID to check into a hotel room in which she planned to kill her “john”, if that is what was happening there. Others have wondered why Murphy would be with a known prostitute while he’s in New Orleans with his wife.
So far, we’ve got more questions and fewer answers.
Previously, Hall’s attorney, Fuller, teased the media in New Orleans indicating there’s more to the story than is public right now.
So, at trial, we expect to hear what Hall’s defense is for allegedly stabbing and killing Murphy that night. What prompted a hook-up like this to turn deadly?
The trial is likely to feature some courtroom histrionics, especially from Fuller. According to a former NOLA.com reporter the Canary interviewed who has dealt with Fuller in the past, the attorney is a bit of a character and known for long-winded speeches in court.
Attempts to reach Fuller through this entire process have resulted in some unusual exchanges with people who answer the phone connected to his law firm. He’s returned several Facebook Messenger messages, too, but nothing to report other than that he received the messages.
For all our coverage of the Patrick Murphy murder case, read our previous posts on the story …