Update: Hotel Guests Heard Argument Between Schuylkill County Jeweler And Woman Before Homicide

March 4, 2019 GMT


Newly released court records show that guests at the New Orleans hotel where Schuylkill County jeweler Patrick Murphy was found slain last week heard an argument coming from Murphy’s room shortly before suspect Megan Hall walked “briskly” out of the hotel. Hall, 25, who also spells her first name Magen and Megen, was arraigned Monday and held on $750,000 bail. Hall had been on the run since the homicide Thursday and surrendered to authorities in New Orleans Sunday. According to the court records, Murphy and Hall checked into the Empress Hotel at 2:10 a.m. Thursday and Hall left alone at 3:42 a.m. Court records say other guests at the hotel heard a “struggle” that lasted about two minutes and a female yelling “get in the bathroom.” Hotel employees found Murphy’s body just before noon the next morning. Police say he was stabbed to death. Hall has numerous prior convictions for prostitution. Murphy was the owner of the Murphy Jewelers chain and one of the most prominent businessmen in Schuylkill County.



Previous Report:

The 25-year-old woman wanted in the slaying of Patrick Murphy, the owner of the Murphy Jewelers chain and one of the most prominent businessmen in Schuylkill County, has been arrested in New Orleans. Megan Hall, whose first name is spelled Megen on inmate records, was accompanied by her attorney when she surrendered to authorities and was booked on second-degree murder charges, New Orleans police announced Sunday. In Louisiana, a second-degree murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison. Murphy was found dead Thursday in a hotel room not far from the French Quarter, the central tourist district of New Orleans where thousands of visitors were preparing for Mardi Gras festivities over the weekend. The New Orleans coroner’s office said he died of “sharp force injuries.” Police earlier called the death “homicide by cutting.” Murphy, 62, was found in a first-floor room of The Empress Hotel on the 1300 block of Ursulines Avenue shortly before noon. Police said Hall was seen on surveillance video entering the hotel with Murphy and leaving alone. Homicide unit detectives “positively identified Hall as the perpetrator,” the police department earlier wrote in a Facebook post. Court records show that Hall — who is from Mumford, Tenn., and also sometimes spells her first name “Magen” — was convicted of prostitution in Memphis in February 2012 and sentenced to six days in jail. In May 2012, she pleaded guilty to prostitution in New Orleans and was sentenced to 90 days of probation and a $500 fine. In that case, a police report says Hall solicited an undercover police officer for “indiscriminate sexual acts” for $250 on April 2, 2012. It was her first offense in the city, records said. Police in Houston arrested Hall for prostitution twice — on May 7, 2015, and on the same date three years later. She was convicted in the first case and the second case appears to have been dismissed. The homicide left Murphy’s hometown of Pottsville stunned. Murphy owned three jewelry stores, in Pottsville, Hamburg and the Promenade Shops in Upper Saucon Township. The chain stretches back to the early 20th century and was launched by his grandfather, Frank Murphy. A clockmaker who traveled the countryside in a horse-and-buggy to fix schoolhouse clocks, Murphy settled down and opened his first store in 1913. According to the business’ website, Patrick Murphy decided early on to enter the family business and enrolled in Bowman’s Technical School, a watchmaking and jewelry institute in Lancaster. He married Kim, his high school sweetheart. The couple had two children, daughter Mallory and son Sean, both of whom work for the company.

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