Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Man convicted in decade-old murder

DAYTONA BEACH — The man accused in a 1997 murder was found guilty this afternoon by jurors who only took about an hour to make a decision.

Gregory Earl Murphy, 45, now faces the death penalty after being found guilty of a count of first-degree murder. The penalty phase begins Wednesday.

DNA evidence linked Murphy to the April 13, 1997, stabbing, strangling and hammer-blow slaying of Erleen Albright, 39, in her Pleasant Street apartment. Murphy's arrest in 2006 marked the first since Daytona Beach police created a cold case unit.

Murphy took the stand on Thursday and claimed self-defense, saying Albright was high on cocaine and came at him with a knife.

In the penalty phase, the jury will recommend life or death to Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, who will determine Murphy’s fate. Judges rarely go against jury recommendations in such sentences.

Albright’s body was found in 1997 by her then-17-year-old son Tony Bobbit, a Mainland High School basketball star and current pro player overseas.

No comments: