Friend testifies he took over Murphy's home and business after he went to jail
Kevin Murphy's lifelong friend and employee testified Wednesday that he now runs Murphy's auto-glass business and lives with Murphy's former girlfriend in the home once tended by the mother and sister Murphy is accused of killing.
Donald Shondelmyer was questioned about his relationship with Susan McGuire, who previously had an affair with Murphy, 52, of Conemaugh Township, Indiana County.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck is seeking to prove that Murphy is guilty of three counts of first degree murder for fatally shooting his mother, sister and aunt four years ago because they did not approve of his relationship with McGuire, who was married to another man at the time.
The defense is seeking to prove that someone else shot 69-year-old Doris Murphy, 43-year-old Kris Murphy and 81-year-old Edith Tietge on April 23, 2009.
The women's bodies were discovered in the shop area of Ferguson Glass, the Loyalhanna Township business that Murphy owned. His mother, sister and aunt worked at the business.
Peck will seek the death penalty against Murphy if jurors return a first-degree murder verdict.
“I knew Susan was married and I didn't approve of it,” Shondelmyer testified. “Kevin was aware of that so he didn't tell me (about their relationship).”
Shondelmyer said his family owned the glass business until about 2000, when Murphy purchased full ownership of the shop.
Under questioning from defense attorney Bob Bell, Shondelmyer admitted that he had formed a bond with McGuire after Murphy was arrested exactly one year after the killings.
“Who's operating Ferguson Glass now?” Bell asked Shondelmyer.
“Me and Susan,” the witness said.
“Where do you live?” Bell asked
“709 Wood St.,” Shondelmyer said, giving the address of the home that Murphy shared with his mother and sister in Conemaugh Township before they were killed and he went to the county prison.
“Who do you live with?” Bell asked.
“Susan McGuire,” the witness replied.
“What's your marital situation?”
“I filed for divorce,” Shondelmyer said.
“How long have you been living there?” Bell asked.
“A little over a year,” the witness said.
Shondelmyer said he believed Murphy and McGuire had dated about 20 years earlier, before she married another man.
A former cell mate of Murphy's at the prison is expected to testify that Murphy decided to “knock off” the victims at McGuire's behest. She has not been charged with any crimes.
Two police witnesses testified Wednesday that in the hours following the murders Murphy admitted to his affair.
State Trooper Robert Depew testified Murphy said he met McGuire in a grocery store parking lot about 12 hours before the murders.
“My mother and sister did not approve of her because she was married,” Murphy told police, according to Depew. “She was getting a divorce and he would even like to keep house with her; get married.”
Depew testified that Murphy claimed McGuire had called him to say that she had just received documents in the mail pertaining to her divorce.
Trooper Lori Bernard testified Murphy's mother and sister told him they were concerned about his involvement with a married woman because “it would be like breaking up a family,” according to Murphy's statement.
Murphy gave four separate statements to police throughout the night and the next morning. He denied any knowledge of the murders, police said.
Depew said Murphy showed no emotion until police officers said they believed the killer knew his victims. That prompted Murphy to talk about his aunt. “His lips started quivering and his hands were shaking and a tear came to his eyes,” Depew testified.
Murphy told police that he had used a .22-caliber revolver, found hidden below a belt sander in the garage, on April 23, 2009, to shoot at a robin starting to nest outside the garage. Police believe that gun was used in at least two of the killings.
Murphy told police he was across Loyalhanna Dam Road feeding cows at his uncle's farm when his family members were killed.
The trial will continue on Thursday before Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell.