Craig Murphy was sentenced to death by the State of Pennsylvania for the murder of a man. According to court documents Craig Murphy believed that the victim had stolen from him so he would stalk and then murder the victim. Craig Murphy would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Craig Murphy 2021 Information
Parole Number: 9866R
Date of Birth: 06/19/1955
Height: 6′ 01″
Current Location: PHOENIX
Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: PHILADELPHIA
Craig Murphy More News
A review of the record reveals that on January 21, 1981, Raymond Gambrell, the deceased, and his friend, Steven Brown, spent the day travelling from one liquor establishment to another purchasing wine to consume. At about 10:30 p.m., they were walking down Clearfield Street in North Philadelphia *325 where they encountered Craig Murphy and two of his cohorts who were in a Buick parked between Rosewood and Carlisle Streets. As Gambrell and Brown walked past the parked automobile, appellant made “smart” remarks to them; however, they continued on their way. Later that evening, while Gambrell and Brown were drinking a newly purchased bottle of wine, they saw the appellant and his cronies circling the block in the Buick stalking them.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on January 22, 1981, after another trip to a speakeasy, Gambrell and Brown encountered Craig Murphy and his cohorts who were in the Buick at 15th and Clearfield Streets. As they walked past the car, appellant said, “There they go.” Appellant then got out of the car from his driver’s seat and confronted Raymond Gambrell by the steps to an apartment building next to a vacant lot. Brown stood by as appellant accused Gambrell of breaking into appellant’s mother’s house. Gambrell told appellant that he did not do it. Appellant then pulled out a gun and told Brown to get into the car. When he hesitated, appellant said to Brown, “You think I’m playing, get in the car . . . sit between them.”
After he was inside the car, seated between Ronald and Bernie Smith in the back seat along with Dennis Cook, Brown saw Craig Murphy place his gun to Gambrell’s head and escort him to the vacant lot. Moments later, two gunshots rang out from the direction of the lot.
When Craig Murphy returned to the automobile with his gun in hand a couple of minutes later, one of appellant’s cronies asked him where he shot Gambrell. Appellant replied, “Where do you think?” Another passenger in the Buick then said, “If you shot him where I think you shot him, he’s dead, you got a body.” Appellant then turned around, pointed his gun at Brown and said, “You better not say anything because, I swear to Allah, I’m going to get you no matter where you’re at.” He then drove away from the scene and dropped Brown off at Broad and Olney Street at around 1:30 a.m. Before leaving though, appellant told Brown that if the police were to *326 question him about this incident, he should tell them that he was not with Gambrell that evening.
At approximately 1:54 a.m., the police discovered Gambrell lying on his back in the vacant lot. The police officers observed blood flowing from the bridge of his nose, his right ear, and the back of his head. Subsequently, they located Brown who was brought in at 4:30 a.m. Brown, although visibly nervous and frightened, made a statement to police implicating appellant. On February 3, 1981, an arrest warrant for appellant was executed.
Dr. Halbert Fillinger, who had performed the autopsy on the deceased, testified at trial that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of death was homicide. It was his testimony that the projectile, a .38 caliber bullet, travelled back to front and right to left causing severe damage to the brain. A firearms examiner also testified that the .38 caliber bullet obtained from Gambrell’s head was likely fired from a .357 Smith and Wesson revolver. Sergeant Schmid of the Philadelphia Police Department testified that a .357 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver was found in appellant’s possession when he was arrested.
Gail Brown testified at trial that on the morning of January 22, 1981, her brother, Steven Brown, visited her. Brown, who was usually a strong person, told his sister that he was scared and frightened because threats had been made against the family and he was afraid for his life. Consequently, his family sent him to Portland, Maine to stay with his brother.