Judge denies new trial for Primecare shooter

By Ken Curtis

Published 01/18 2014 09:58AM

Updated 01/20 2014 08:27PM

A Houston County judge has denied a new trial for the man who went on a shooting spree at a Dothan medical clinic seven years ago.

Attorneys for Jason Andrew Murphy had argued that their client failed to get a fair trial because of ineffective council and testimony that should not have been presented to the jury that convicted him.

In his ruling Friday, Houston County Circuit Judge Butch Binford said he was unable to find evidence that Murphy, dubbed the Primecare shooter, was not fairly represented by defense attorney Matt Lamere during his 2010 trial. “The court finds the representation of (Murphy) by defense counsel was highly effective,” Binford’s ruling stated.

“As a defense lawyer you get used to folks saying you did a bad job when you lose,” Lamere said.“I think if you asked (District Attorney Doug Valeska) who won this case he would say I did,” he commented November 13 following a hearing on the new trial request.

On February 5, 2007 Murphy fired his rifle repeatedly at Primecare’s former location on Westgate Parkway knocking out windows of the clinic. Employees and patients were able to escape out the back door and none were wounded. Murphy surrendered a few hours later after a standoff with police.

Murphy had been a patient at the clinic a few days earlier and appeared upset about his medical care and the military in which he served. He was scheduled to participate in a National Guard drill and may have been concerned about his inability to complete a physical fitness examination.

Murphy was sentenced in December, 2010 to 70 years in prison on charges including attempted murder, criminal mischief and making terror type threats. An appeals court later ruled Murphy should have not been convicted of attempted murder and cut his sentence to 35 years.

Binford also ruled there was nothing tainted regarding the testimony of a state psychologist during the trial. Attorneys for Murphy say they believe Dr. Doug McKeown may have violated patient client privilege.

Murphy is represented by Montgomery attorneys Richard Keith and George Nicholas Wallace.

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