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Jurors, finally chosen, will travel to Westmoreland County glass-repair shop to see where bodies were found

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Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Kevin Murphy hasn't seen the inside of his family's glass-repair shop since he was arrested one year to the day after his mother, sister and aunt were found dead in the building's work garage.

Murphy, 52, of Conemaugh Township, Indiana County, is facing a potential death penalty.

He told Westmoreland County Judge Al Bell on Thursday he does not want to see his former place of business next week when jurors in his triple murder trial travel to Loyalhanna Township to see for themselves where the bodies were discovered.

Murphy has been in jail since his arrest for the April 23, 2009, shooting deaths of his mother, Doris Murphy, 69; his sister, Kris Murphy, 43; and his aunt, Edith Tietge, 81.

“He thinks it's in his best interest not to go,” defense attorney Bob Bell said on Thursday. “He'll get to see it all again when he gets acquitted.”

Jurors will be taken by bus to Ferguson Glass and an adjoining farm Monday afternoon, after lawyers make opening statements in the case.

Jury selection was completed Thursday afternoon. Attorneys over four days selected eight men and four women to hear testimony in the case. Four alternate jurors were chosen.

Prosecutors will ask those jurors to find Murphy guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. They contend Murphy killed his relatives because they disapproved of his relationship with a married woman, who allegedly told him to “knock off” his family.

Those same jurors will be asked to sentence Murphy to death by lethal injection if they convict him of first-degree murder.

Murphy has maintained his innocence.

Bell told Murphy he can still change his mind about going on the trip.

“You have until Monday to think about it,” the judge said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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