Released after 20 years in prison, Michelle Murphy trying to rebuild her life
Monday, October 13, 2014
Related: Discredited lab test was key to woman's wrongful conviction
Read Part 1: Records show mistakes, questionable evidence in woman’s overturned murder case
Twenty years to the day that Michelle Murphy found her son’s lifeless body on the kitchen floor, she heard Tulsa County District Judge William Kellough say the words she had been waiting for: “This court finds you, Miss Murphy, innocent.”
She cried in the courthouse hallway as her attorney, Sharisse O’Carroll, explained the date’s significance to reporters.
Though she’d been out of jail on bond for three months, it wasn’t until after Kellough’s declaration that Murphy was ready to do something she had never done: visit her son’s grave.
Murphy didn’t want to go to Travis’ grave until her name was cleared, O’Carroll said.
Murphy, 37, was released from prison on bond in May, when the judge vacated her life without parole sentence and murder conviction, based on newly uncovered DNA evidence.
And on Sept. 12, District Attorney Tim Harris decided to drop the murder charges and dismiss the case, saying he lacked the evidence to convict her again.
Murphy was 17 when she was imprisoned for the brutal slaying of her infant son. The same prosecutor who convicted Murphy also took away her 2-year-old daughter, placing the girl with another family.
Twenty years behind bars has given Murphy a lot of time to contemplate what happened to her.
“It meant the world to me to finally hear that it’s been acknowledged, something I’ve been trying to prove for 20 years,” Murphy told reporters after the charges were dismissed in September. “Something I’ve known in my heart.”
Murphy wrote letters to her daughter while she was in prison. She never got a response.
Her daughter, now 22, told the World she is not interested in getting to know her mother.
“They let me come to it on my own. ... There was never anybody who told me that she did it or she was a monster. For me, God put me in that position to really appreciate what I have today,” said the young woman, who wanted her name withheld.
Raised by her adoptive family, she said she enjoyed a happy childhood with plenty of love and support. She is expecting her first child, a girl.
Read the rest here: http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/released-after-years-in-prison-michelle-murphy-trying-to-rebuild/article_0dbc825d-734b-5322-8710-02254038268f.html