Terre Haute woman arrested in Clay County murder conspiracy

Friday, May 31, 2013

BRAZIL -- The Clay County Sheriff's Department arrested Barbara Murphy, 74, Terre Haute, Tuesday for Conspiracy to Commit Murder, a Class A felony.

Murphy's son, Dale, 53, North Meridian St., Brazil, was arrested on Dec. 17, by the Sheriff's Department and charged with Child Molesting, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor and Sexual Battery.

According to information received from the Sheriff's Department, detectives received information earlier in the month that Dale and Barbara were allegedly soliciting an individual to kill the alleged victim of the sex offense in order to prevent the victim from testifying against Dale at trial.

While incarcerated, Dale communicated with his mother during jail visits, telephone calls and by mail. It was during these communications that the two allegedly formulated their plan to have the alleged victim killed.

Chief Deputy Rob Gambill spoke with The Brazil Times about the charges and said that inmates at the Clay County Justice Center know their communication with visitors is being monitored.

"Phone calls are definitely monitored," Gambill said, "and the inmates and callers are made aware of that fact."

According to reports, Dale, while incarcerated at the Justice Center, allegedly directed a third party to make contact with his mother to further plan the murder.

Gambill said the third party contacted the Sheriff's Department with the information received from the Murphys.

The third party's identity has not yet been made public, but Gambill said the person involved had no intent of helping the Murphys carry out their plan.

"The third party was not interested in helping them," Gambill said.

When the Sheriff's Department began investigating the allegations, detectives immediately went to work to make sure the victim was safe.

"Our first concern was making sure the victim was safe and that nothing had been done to harm them," Gambill said. "We monitored the situation night and day, but we couldn't rush into making an arrest. We had to make sure there was a true intent to murder."

Case reports have been sent to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office asking that Dale Murphy also be charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

Both Dale and Barbara are being held in the Clay County Justice Center on $50,000 bond each, cash only.

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