Crime

Suspect Indicted for Murder of PA Jeweler in New Orleans

CrimeJun 19, 2019

Suspect Indicted for Murder of PA Jeweler in New Orleans

Magen Hall is charged with armed robbery, obstruction of justice and second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Murphy.

New Orleans—The woman arrested and charged with stabbing a Pennsylvania jeweler to death in a New Orleans hotel back in February has been indicted.

According to a press release from Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, a grand jury indicted 25-year-old Magen Hall Thursday on charges of armed robbery, obstruction of justice and second-degree murder in the death of 62-year-old Patrick Murphy.

(The defendant’s name also is spelled Megan Hall in some court records, the office noted.)

A housekeeper discovered Murphy’s body inside a room at the Empress Hotel in the city’s Tremé neighborhood before noon on Feb. 28. 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, the press release from the DA’s office noted. The release also said Hall was then seen leaving the room alone and “briskly” walking out the front door a little more than an hour later.

According to an affidavit from a New Orleans police homicide detective, no one else was seen entering or leaving the room until the housekeeper, who found Murphy’s body that afternoon.

The affidavit also noted that two witnesses staying in an adjacent room 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 has been in jail since New Orleans police arrested her on March 3.

If convicted, she faces life in prison on the murder charge. An armed robbery conviction carries a penalty of 10-99 years in state prison, while obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation is punishable by up to 40 years.

Murphy was the owner of Murphy Jewelers, which dates back 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.

Many in the industry expressed their shock when news of Murphy's death was first reported.

He was remembered as a kind man with a good spirit.

Another Pennsylvania jeweler, Cathy Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Jewelers in Royersford, crossed paths with Murphy over the years and described him

as a “well-respected man with a big personality.”
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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