10-14-2014, 03:17 AM #1
OK - Travis Wood, 3 mos, nearly decapitated, Tulsa, 12 Sept 1994
Prosecutor Tim Harris stood before jurors deciding Michelle Murphy’s fate and told them police found someone’s blood near her slain baby’s body — blood he implied could be hers.
“Ladies and gentleman, beyond a reasonable doubt this woman killed her child,” he told them.
“We made some decisions that were bad decisions,” said Bill Hackathorn, one of Michelle Murphy's trial defense attorneys. “I knew all along the most innocent person I ever represented got convicted because I wasn’t good enough.”
A Tulsa World investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict.
Records show mistakes, questionable evidence in woman's overturned murder case
Released after 20 years in prison, Michelle Murphy trying to rebuild her life
Tulsa woman ruled innocent in death of infant son 20 years ago
Discredited lab test was key to woman's wrongful conviction
plus photos, videos, timeline, related documents
Last edited by wfgodot; 10-14-2014 at 05:42 AM.
10-14-2014, 03:33 AM #2
From the first link above:
Summer had dragged into September, so Michelle Murphy, then 17, chose to sleep downstairs on the couch that hot night, near the window unit air-conditioner in her west Tulsa apartment. Her 2-year-old daughter and infant son slept on the L-shaped couch with her.
According to Murphy, when she woke up about 6 a.m. on Sept. 12, 1994, her head ached and she noticed a footstool — the one she placed next to the couch to keep 3-month-old Travis from falling off — had been moved. Her baby was gone.
She found her 13-pound infant in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor, nearly decapitated and stabbed in the chest. Murphy ran to the neighbors’ apartment and pounded on the door: “I think my baby is dead!”
Detectives found blood smeared on the outside of the open front door, but what they didn’t find was blood on Murphy — none on her clothes, arms, face, her kitchen sink or bathroom faucet.
Last edited by wfgodot; 10-14-2014 at 05:39 AM.
10-14-2014, 04:00 AM #3
From the penultimate link....
Michelle Murphy, then a teen mother of two, was arrested the day of her son’s death before police investigated William Lee, a neighbor boy who made an odd phone call that night and then lied to police several times.
Her attorneys say the troubled 14-year-old had a grudge against Murphy, who’d spurned his sexual advances, and his violent history should have made him a suspect instead. He died before her trial, when he accidentally hanged himself while masturbating.
The transcript shows that (....) Pete Messler, the former Tulsa County special district judge who presided over Murphy’s preliminary hearing, met with prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Messler, who retired as a judge in 2000, told the World that in chambers, he asked Tim Harris if William had an attorney. Why does he need one, Harris asked.
“I looked at him very sternly and I said, ‘Because that’s the murderer of this baby and everybody in the courtroom knows it except you, apparently,’ ” Messler said.
Last edited by wfgodot; 10-14-2014 at 05:40 AM.
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