Eric Murphy Trial Begins In Ellsworth 

The trial of an Ellsworth man authorities say stole nearly $600,000 from investors got underway today in Ellsworth. Eric Murphy Jr. originally pled guilty back in march as part of a plea deal.But after a judge threw out the plea bargain, saying he would have to sereve more than 18 months behind bars, Murphy withdrew his guilty plea and instead opted for a jury trial.Today the jury heard testimony from several of Murphy’s alleged victims which at times got quite testy. At one point the Justice Kevin Cuddy had to step in during defense attorney Jeff Toothaker’s cross-examination of one witness. “This is not an argument or a debate between the two of you,” the Cuddy said. “This is just an exchange of information trying to move this process along.” A state investigator also showed the jury how Murphy took money from investors and spent it on other business expenses not related to their original investment.The trial is expected to wrap up later this week.