Woman Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of PA Jeweler
Megan Hall was set to go on trial for charges related to the death of Patrick J. Murphy, owner of Murphy Jewelers, next week.
Megan Hall, 28, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice in New Orleans Criminal Court on Monday, just a week before she was scheduled to go on trial for the killing of Patrick J. Murphy, owner of Murphy Jewelers in Pennsylvania.
As part of the plea deal, a second-degree murder charge was reduced to a manslaughter charge.
Hall faced a 25-year sentence for the three charges to which she pleaded guilty, according to court documents, but with the plea deal, all but 10 years have been suspended. She also receives credit for time served.
Murphy’s body was discovered inside a room at the Empress Hotel in the city’s Tremé neighborhood before noon on Feb. 28, 2019.
Court records said he had been killed by three stab wounds, one to his neck and two to his abdomen.
Video surveillance cameras at the hotel showed Murphy and Hall arriving together in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 28, according to the Orleans Parish District Attorney. Hall was then seen leaving the room alone and “briskly” walking out the front door a little more than an hour later.
Witnesses also reported hearing a man and woman loudly arguing around 3:30 a.m. inside the room Hall rented, followed by sounds of a struggle that lasted about two minutes.
Hall turned herself in days later and was arrested. She was then indicted in June 2019, but her trial was pushed back several times due to the pandemic.
Murphy was the owner of Murphy Jewelers, which dates to 1913 when Frank Murphy, a clockmaker and optometrist, opened his store in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
Murphy and his wife, Kim, grew the business, opening a second store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania in October 2004. A third location was added in spring 2010 at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, located in Center Valley.
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