Man accused of offering to kill city lawyer Suspect ordered held without bail

April 11, 1992|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

A Washington man was arrested in a parking lot outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards yesterday after he allegedly offered to kill Baltimore lawyer William H. Murphy Jr. in exchange for drugs and $4,000 in cash.

The man, whose identity was withheld by authorities, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul M. Rosenberg, who ordered him held without bail at the Baltimore Detention Center.

During an unusual proceeding in the U.S. District Court last night, Judge Rosenberg ordered the man's identity sealed and removed from a court affidavit until 4 p.m. Monday to give authorities time to complete their investigation. He scheduled a detention hearing for Wednesday.

The suspect was charged with causing someone to travel across state lines from Florida with intent to murder, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested the suspect late yesterday afternoon when he allegedly accepted one ounce of heroin, a machine gun with a silencer and $4,000 in cash from an agent as a down payment for Mr. Murphy's slaying.

Mr. Murphy, a former Baltimore Circuit Court judge and mayoral candidate, could not be reached for comment. Authorities said he was out of town yesterday, but was aware of the events.

U.S. Attorney Richard D. Bennett and Special Agent Craig N. Chretien, chief of the DEA's Baltimore office, attended the courtroom session but declined to discuss the case. They said the investigation was continuing this weekend.

The court affidavit said the man recently was released from prison after serving a nine-year sentence for homicide. It said authorities began to investigate him after a source in the Prince George's County Detention Center told them the man wanted to buy heroin, cocaine, a machine gun and a silencer.

The source had given the man the name of a family member in Florida for a drug connection. Both the source and his Florida relative had been represented by Mr. Murphy, the affidavit said.

The document said the man learned that both the detention center inmate and the Florida man had been displeased with their representation by Mr. Murphy, and offered to get revenge for them by killing the attorney in exchange for $4,000 and four ounces of heroin.

The two relatives began cooperating with authorities, the affidavit said, and a meeting was arranged between the suspect, the unnamed Florida man and undercover federal drug agents.

They met at the Holiday Inn on Lombard Street about 5 p.m. yesterday and drove to a parking lot outside the new ballpark.

"He stated he would 'do him' at Mr. Murphy's office or at his home," the affidavit said. "He stated that if bystanders were around he would shoot everyone because 'I like blood.' "

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