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Crime News Family Crimes

Man Charged In Wife’s 2014 Murder, Staged Death As A Botched Home Invasion, Police Say

Jimmy Murphy, 32, allegedly attempted to cash in on his 26-year-old wife Whitney Murhpy’s $650,000 life insurance policy, following her death.

By Dorian Geiger
Man Allegedly Staged Wife's Murder As Home Invasion

An Idaho man who allegedly gunned down his wife and staged her murder to look like a robbery has been arrested more than six years after her death.

Jimmy Murphy, 32, has been charged with the first-degree murder of his wife, Whitney Murphy, after new evidence allegedly implicated him as the triggerman, according to the Idaho State Journal. He was taken into police custody on Wednesday. Murphy reportedly resisted arrest at his mobile home and was ultimately tasered by officers.

On Oct. 26, 2014, 26-year-old Whitney Murphy was found dead at her home on Yale Road in Cassia County. She’d been shot in the head by a shotgun. The weapon was never recovered, according to KIRO-TV. The gunfire also wounded a neighbor, court filings stated.

Detectives first suspected that she’d been killed by a burglar. However, nothing appeared to have been stolen from the home, including a safe purporting to have contained $30,000, according to KIRO-TV.

Jimmy Murphy told authorities that he'd been cleaning his truck and had been asked to handle some work at a farm at the time of the murder. Jimmy Murphy’s employer later contradicted those statements, according to law enforcement. 

Detectives also found gun powder residue on Murphy’s hands. He initially told police he’d been firing rounds at birds on the day of his wife's murder, however, investigators were unable to collect any shells from the area in question. Witnesses close to Murphy said he wasn’t an avid hunter.

A series of cryptic text messages Murphy sent his wife shortly before her death also became key evidence in the investigation. The 32-year-old allegedly demanded Whitney come "straight home" so the married couple could "have sex" that evening, the Idaho State Journal reported. Investigators found the messages odd, considering he'd stated in earlier text messages he wasn't physically attracted to her. Jimmy Murphy previously admitted he'd previously been unfaithful to his wife, as well, according to the paper.

The timeline Murphy provided regarding his wife’s death also didn’t match up with earlier statements he’d given.

A life insurance company later turned down Murphy’s claim on his wife’s $650,000 policy following her slaying. Authorities allege the 32-year-old husband then refused to cover the expenses for her funeral.

One of Whitney's family members, who confronted Jimmy Murphy at a store, alleged the Idaho man cryptically implied he may have been behind the shooting, court documents stated.

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t,” Jimmy Murphy allegedly said.

The couple married in 2010, according to Whitney Murphy's obituary. She grew up in Delco, Idaho, was active in her church's community and had a “tenacity and love for life,” her family said.

"Being the best mother and wife that she could be was Whitney’s greatest joy,” the obituary stated. “Every day was planned around what her family needed so that she could spend the most time with them as possible. When she wasn’t with her husband and son, she was often with her nephews, nieces, cousins, brothers, sisters, parents and friends, sharing her positive attitude, cheerful conversations and jokes.”

Murphy is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in Cassia County Court Friday.

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