Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (June 13) secured a murder indictment against a Tennessee woman accused in February of stabbing to death a Pennsylvania jeweler in a Treme hotel room.
Magen Hall was charged with armed robbery, obstruction of justice and with the second-degree murder of 62-year-old Patrick Murphy in the three-count indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. The defendant’s name also is spelled Megan Hall in some court records.
Hall, 25, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the murder charge. An armed robbery conviction carries a penalty of 10 to 99 years in state prison, while obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation is punishable by up to 40 years.
A housekeeper discovered Murphy’s body at 11:41 a.m. inside a room registered to Hall at the Empress Hotel at 1317 Ursulines Ave. New Orleans police homicide detective Patrick Guidry testified at a preliminary hearing in March that the owner of Murphy Jewelers in Pottsville, Pa., had been killed by three stab wounds, one to his neck and two to his abdomen.
Video surveillance cameras at the hotel showed Murphy and Hall arriving to the hotel together at 2:10 a.m. Hall was seen exiting the hotel room alone and briskly walking out the front door at 3:42 a.m., believed to be leaving with some of Murphy’s possessions.
No one else was seen entering or leaving the room until the housekeeper eight hours later, Guidry wrote in his arrest affidavit.
Two witnesses staying in an adjacent room reported hearing a man and woman loudly arguing inside the room that Hall rented around 3:30 a.m., followed by sounds of a struggle that lasted about two minutes.
Hall has remained jailed since her March 3 arrest, in lieu of a $750,000 bond set for the murder allegation. Criminal District Judge Camille Buras left that bond unchanged after the indictment was read. She deferred setting bond on the two additional charges brought by the grand jury for the judge to whom Hall’s case gets randomly allotted.
Hall has a history of prostitution arrests from New Orleans, Nashville and Houston.
Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich presented the case to the grand jury.
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