A murder suspect charged with stabbing a man to death in a Texas motel in September has been released from prison following the district attorney’s office’s failure to meet a case deadline.
Gary Murphy was arrested by the Longview Police on Sept. 4 for allegedly stabbing 46-year-old Arnold McCollaum to death inside a room at the American Dream Inn in Longview, Texas, according to KLTV-TV.
Under Texas law, prosecutors have 90 days to gather the facts in a prisoner’s case together to present before a grand jury for indictment. Murphy had been jailed with a $250,000 bond until a recent court decision knocked it down to $10,000 after prosecutors missed the deadline by one day and presented his case on the 91st day.
When asked to explain the missed deadline, Gregg County District Attorney Carl Dorrough claimed that he and his office thought they were within the 90-day limit when they brought Murphy’s case before the grand jury because they were using Sept. 5 — the date upon which Murphy was booked into jail — as their time marker. But because Murphy actually was detained before midnight on Sept. 4, Texas law recognized that date as the starting point for the 90-day window, KLTV reported.
In a written statement, Dorrough insisted that, despite this setback, “the case against Mr. Murphy is in no way impacted and the prosecution of the matter continues.”
Murphy was released on his lower bond Feb. 2 — even though the Longview Police’s arrest affidavit noted that Murphy confessed to “stabb[ing] the maintenance man in the neck” during an argument concerning money after investigators noticed blood on Murphy’s shoes and socks. Furthermore, Murphy allegedly offered to show the investigators the murder weapon “in exchange for a cigarette,” according to KLTV.
McCollaum’s family has indicated that they are troubled by the news of Murphy’s release and are concerned for the public and its well-being, KLTV noted.
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