December, 17 2017
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Teen who killed friend sent to youth detention facility
District Court Judge Robert E. Estes sent a Fallon TEEN who accidentally shot and killed a friend to a juvenile correctional facility Wednesday after a hearing to determine the boy's custodial status.
Josh Murphy, 14, will spend between four and nine months in either Caliente or Elko, two Nevada cities where long-term juvenile detention facilities exist. The average stay is about six months.
Murphy shot Mark Anthony, 14, with a 12-gauge shotgun at the Murphy home on McLean Street Sept. 10. Mark died instantly after being shot in the face.
Josh has been in a treatment facility receiving counseling since the shooting. He admitted to involuntary manslaughter.
His therapist felt the teen should be placed back into the community under supervision of juvenile probation officers, according to Tami Richardson, deputy chief probation officer in Fallon who has handled the case.
"His therapist feels placing him in a correctional facility would be detrimental," Richardson said after the hour-long hearing, which was closed to the public by Judge Estes.
De Vere Karlson, chief juvenile probation officer, said her office asked the judge to allow Josh to be supervised in Fallon.
"Our recommendation was that he be placed in a PROGRAM here now," Karlson said. "Although we have sympathy for the victim's father, we have to look at the best interest of the child. We felt we could provide what he needs. The judge felt he needs additional time in a correctional facility."
Tim Anthony, Josh's father, drove through the night from Sacramento to attend the 8 a.m. hearing. He told Judge Estes he thought Josh should spend more time in custody before being released back into the community. (See related story)
Richardson said the state will determine to which detention facility Josh is sent. Each correctional center offers different programs to meet the needs of individual juveniles, she said. Caliente uses peer counseling to HELP TROUBLED youth work through their problems, while Elko is geared more towards individual therapy, said Richardson.
Deputy District Attorney Russell Smith said Thursday Josh was released to his mother after the hearing. He must have a psychological evaluation before he can be placed into a detention facility. Since Josh's therapist released him from treatment, Smith said, there was nowhere else to place him until he goes to the juvenile facility. Smith asked the judge to impose time in a juvenile correctional facility
"I'm really glad he's cured from his suicidal tendencies, but our office feels very strongly that, while the juvenile system has good programs, three months from day of sentencing to being back at home would send a message that three months is the value of a life, and that's wrong," he said. "I hope he becomes a very productive citizen after a debt's been paid."
Smith said the hearing was closed because topics affecting a related criminal case filed against Josh's mother were discussed.
Darcie Dee Murphy is charged with two counts of child abuse causing substantial bodily harm, permitting a minor to unlawfully handle a firearm, two counts of principal to discharging a weapon where a person might be endangered, child abuse not causing substantial bodily harm, child abuse, neglect or endangerment and obstructing police.
She was arrested Dec. 15 and is scheduled for an arraignment Monday in Churchill County Justice Court.
The Churchill County District Attorney's Office alleges Murphy allowed her to son to possess the firearm a year before the fatal shooting and knew he had pointed it at his 9-year-old brother and a friend in the past.
Prosecutors also claim Murphy let her son fire the gun twice into the air in August of 2003 and on the Fourth of July. She is accused of later lying to police.
Smith said Darcie Murphy has cooperated with juvenile probation authorities and done everything they have asked of her. Also, since she hasn't been convicted of any crimes yet, there were no legal grounds not to allow Josh to go home until he is placed in a facility, he added.
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