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Opening statements present two versions of murders of three women


In their opening statements yesterday in the Kevin Murphy triple-murder trial, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck and former Indiana County District Attorney Bob Bell told jurors contrasting versions of the murders exactly four years ago of Murphy’s mother, sister, and aunt.


Bell, representing Murphy, said his client’s defense is simple…he was not there at the Ferguson Glass Shop where the women were slain, and therefore someone else shot them.  Peck told the jury that Murphy killed the women because they disapproved of his affair with a married woman, and that Murphy told a cellmate that the woman urged him to do it.  The woman has not been charged in the case.


After the opening statements and lunch the jury and judge, along with the attorneys, traveled by bus to the glass shop and to the adjacent farm where Murphy claims he was feeding cattle when the murders took place.  Murphy chose to stay behind in his jail cell.

A state trooper led a tour of the site and showed where the women’s bodies were found, the machine in which the murder weapon, a 22-caliber pistol, was hidden, and about a dozen other locations at the family-owned business and farm.   


Day Two of the trial is today in the courtroom of Judge Al Bell.

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Kathleen Smathers

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