- Joint continuance likely will push start of Patrick Murphy murder trial back to January 2020
It’s likely that Magen Hall, the woman accused of killing Pottsville businessman Patrick Murphy, won’t go on trial until later this year, at the earliest.
On Friday, Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins filed for a continuance in the second-degree murder case against Hall, according to court records.
The trial was originally scheduled to start Tuesday.
Continuance in Patrick Murphy Murder Trial
According to a source inside the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office, the prosecution in this case still wants to get it in front of a judge before the end of the calendar year. However, it appears that schedules with the attorneys involved and a potential judge may push the start to early 2020.
On Tuesday, Dawkins will appear in court with an attorney representing Hall. The prosecution will find out then if the judge in this case will agree to the continuance. It’s expected that Hall’s defense team – led by New Orleans attorney John Fuller – will join that motion.
Our source indicates the attorneys will be opposing each other in another, older case starting tomorrow in New Orleans.
If the judge agrees to the continuance, they’ll likely choose a date in January 2020, we’ve learned.
Patrick Murphy Murder Case Recap
Hall faces second-degree murder, armed robbery and obstruction of justice charges in the Feb. 28 stabbing death of Patrick Murphy. If she’s found guilty on the murder charge, she gets a mandatory life sentence.
Murphy, who owned several jewelry stores locally and served in several other public positions in Pottsville, was found dead in a seedy New Orleans hotel room in the late-morning hours of Feb. 28. Hotel staff found his body in a room he rented with Hall the previous night.
Hall, a known prostitute, was seen entering the Empress Hotel in New Orleans, with Murphy the previous night. Surveillance footage, according to previous reports, shows the two entering the seedy hotel and then quickly exiting before going back in together.
Hall used her own Tennessee state ID to rent the room at the Empress Hotel. Surveillance video shows Hall leaving the hotel alone several hours later.
We’ve since learned in the preliminary stages of this case that Murphy was stabbed 3 times on the front of his body. A witness inside the hotel allegedly heard Hall screaming at Murphy, “Get in the bathroom!” at some point during the night.
Originally charged with second-degree murder, prosecutors in this case have also secured grand jury indictments against Hall for armed robbery and obstruction of justice.
For our full coverage of the Patrick Murphy murder, please see our special section: