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Murphy Sentencing in Ellsworth 

Wayne Harvey

Eric Murphy Jr was accused of stealing 570-thousand dollars from investors in the Ellsworth area.He had agreed to plead guilty on two counts of felony theft.Monday was supposed to be sentencing To seal the deal Murphy had struck with prosecutors.But, it didn’t turn out that way.On March 2nd, the state and the defense for Eric Murphy Junior agreed to a plea deal that would have him serve 18 months behind bars. He would have to repay his victims, and he would be on probation for three years.Six of the people affected by the case spoke in front of Justice Kevin Cuddy, and then he made his decision. ” I elect not to accept the recommendation of the state which means I’ve got to allow this defendant to withdraw his plea of guilty or to confer with prosecution if you want to do this now, but I’m not going to accept the recommended sentence.”Both lawyers and the judge met back in his chambers for about 20 minutes. When they returned, Murphy withdrew his guilty plea.”There’s always a chance that a plea agreement won’t be accepted by the court, so it’s not really a surprise,” said Assistant Attorney General Mike Colleran. ” Justice Cuddy believed that a more severe sentence is appropriate for the conduct here. We accept that and we’ll look forward to presenting the case at trial.”For those in the courtroom who had dealings with Murphy, like Cyndee Carroll of Surry, it was a bittersweet day. ” It showed that somebody was listening to us, understanding what he’s put us through. I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s done. I wanted to move on. I was hoping it’d be done today so I could just move on.”Murphy’s lawyer Jeff Toothaker declined comment after the proceedings.Murphy’s jury trial is expected to begin later this year.