Jury Hears Opening Statements, Visits Crime Scene In Triple Murder Trial
WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — Opening statements took place Monday morning at the courthouse in the trial of a man accused of killing three of his family members.
And Monday afternoon, jurors were taken to the actual scene of the crime.
This all comes just one day before the four-year anniversary of the murders.
Kevin Murphy arrived at the courthouse in a dark suit, dress shirt and tie.
The 52-year-old businessman is charged with three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of his mother, sister and aunt — and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The victims, 69-year-old Doris Murphy, 43-year-old Kris Murphy and 81-year-old Edith Tietge were all found shot execution style inside Ferguson Glass Company outside of Saltsburg.
“… Never in their wildest dreams did they think they’d be killed by their son, brother and nephew,” said District Attorney John Peck in his opening statement.
Defense attorneys Robert Bell and Mark Bolkovac say simply that Murphy didn’t do it, describing Murphy’s demeanor when he came upon the murder scene.
“He loses it,” they said. “He can’t talk, he can’t function — can’t even talk to the 911 operator.”
“I would suggest to you… Kevin could not have made up the kind of shaking he was doing… and the evidence will show that.”
Jurors got to see the crime scene firsthand, taking a 30-minute bus ride to Loyalhanna Township, where they toured Ferguson Glass.
Jurors saw an area in the office where Murphy allegedly hid his gun and the garage area where the women’s bodies were found.
They also trekked back a dirt road to view the family farm.
“This is a very unusual situation because you have a biz that is situated across from a farm,” Bolkovac said.
Murphy opted to not make the trip.
“He just feels in his best interest to stay here,” Bolkovac said.
This is expected to be a lengthy trial that could be made longer if it reaches a penalty phase.
Testimony is set to begin Tuesday morning.