Murphy Still Not Competent to Stand Trial

Murphy Still Not Competent to Stand Trial

Man charged in murder of 8-year-old boy in 2000.

Last Thursday, Gregory Murphy returned to court in Alexandria for a status hearing on his competence to stand trial for the murder of 8-year-old Kevin Shifflett in Del Ray in 2000. Murphy comes to court every six months for such a proceeding.

Kevin was stabbed to death while playing in the front yard of his grandparents' home on April 19, 2000. Murphy, who had just been released from prison, was arrested a few days after the crime, charged with another crime. He was indicted by an Alexandria jury, charged with Kevin's murder in October, 2000.

As has been the case since his placement with the Virginia Department of Corrections in 2000, psychiatrists once again found him not competent to stand trial.

Dr. Lillian Tidler, the staff director at Central State Hospital, wrote that, while Murphy is showing improvement, he remains unable to assist in his defense. She concluded that he is still not competent to stand trial for the murder with which he is charged.

Chief Circuit Court Judge Donald M. Haddock asked Murphy if he felt he was getting better. Murphy told the judge that he thought he was competent. The judge told Murphy that he needed to convince the doctors of this.

Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel requested that an independent psychiatrist evaluate Murphy. This evaluation has been conducted.

“He indicated to us that his interviews are complete and that we will have his report some time this month,” Sengel said. “If there is any disagreement between the two psychiatrists, [Tidler and the doctor who is providing the second opinion] we would schedule a hearing on the matter. Depending on schedules, I would hope this would happen within 30 days of receiving the new report. At this time, I have no indication what the new doctor has found. We will wait and see.”

<1b>— Carla Branch