News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 30, 2013

Police: Mom, son conspire to kill witness

Dale Murphy awaiting trial on class-A felony sex offense

Tribune-Star staff report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Clay County Sheriff’s Department seems to have prevented what it believes was a mother-and-son conspiracy to commit murder.

The son in the case, Dale Murphy, 53, of Brazil, was arrested in 2012 accused of a class-A felony sex offense. He is being held in the Clay County jail.

Earlier this month, members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department were told that Murphy, while in jail, was allegedly conspiring with his mother, Barbara Murphy, 74, of Terre Haute, to have the alleged victim in the sex offense case killed in order to prevent the alleged victim from testifying against Dale Murphy at trial, according to a news release issued Wednesday afternoon by the sheriff’s department.

After ensuring the safety of the alleged intended victim, members of the sheriff’s department launched a full investigation, according to the news release. Police believe Dale Murphy, while in the Clay County jail, directed a third party to make contact with his mother to advance the alleged murder plan.

Dale Murphy and his mother communicated with each other during jail visits, telephone calls and by mail, according to the news release.

“During these communications, Dale and Barbara Murphy formulated their plan to have the victim killed,” according to the release.

Barbara Murphy was being held Wednesday in the Clay County Justice Center on allegations of conspiracy to commit murder, a class-A felony. Her bond has been initially set at $50,000, cash only.

The sheriff’s department is asking the Clay County Prosecutor’s office also to charge Dale Murphy with conspiracy to commit murder. The sheriff’s department has provided the prosecutor’s office with case reports, according to the news release.