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Second Opinion on Murphy's Competency Approved

Chalk one up for the prosecution. Alexandria Circuit Court judge Alfred Swersky has agreed that the court will obtain a second opinion as to Gregory Murphy’s mental health status.

Murphy was charged with the April 19, 2000, slaying of eight-year-old Kevin Shifflett in Del Ray. Since late 2000, Murphy has been incarcerated in a mental health facility in southern Virginia, having been found not competent to stand trial.

At the most recent six-month review of his mental health status, Murphy was again deemed not competent to stand trial by the psychiatrist who is in charge of his treatment. However, she did assert that Murphy seemed to be responding positively to new antipsychotic medication.

Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney S. Randolph Sengel asked for a second opinion, which Murphy’s attorney’s opposed. Swersky ruled in favor of the prosecution and asked both the Commonwealth Attorney’s office and Murphy’s defense team to submit names of three psychiatrists who would be appropriate to review Murphy’s case. Swersky will make the ultimate decision and that psychiatrist will file a report with the court.