a confessed killer who has spent the past 30 years in the Utah State Hospital - will be decided by 3rd District Judge Pat Brian.
Brian was appointed Friday by presiding Judge Scott Daniels to hear the Murphy case. Daniels denied a motion by Murphy's attorney, Brooke Wells, to recall retired Judge David Dee to hear the case. Dee heard the case several years ago.Brian, who will schedule a hearing within the next 30 days, is charged with carrying out a Utah Supreme Court decision that orders the district court to find a suitable program for Murphy. The high court ruled in June that the state hospital was too restrictive a program for Murphy.
On Sept. 10, 1957, Murphy, 19 at the time, was charged with raping a 5-year-old girl. Murphy later confessed to the 1955 murder of teenager Jocelyn Hickenlooper but was not prosecuted because on Oct. 11, 1957, a trial judge found him incompetent to stand trial.
The judge committed him to the state hospital until such time as he became competent. In 1972, Murphy was found competent and stood trial for the rape but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial court committed him back to the hospital.
In 1985, two psychiatrists and one psychologist testified that Murphy was not mentally ill, but retarded. However, Judge David Dee ordered his confinement in the hospital to continue after determining there was no other place for him because of Murphy's alleged potential for violence.