Attorneys appeal ruling against Primecare shooter

Published 02/06 2014 12:00PM

Updated 02/06 2014 08:37PM

Attorneys for convicted Primecare shooter Jason Andrew Murphy have appealed a judge’s ruling denying their client a new trial. They cite ineffective trial during Murphy’s 2010 trial, something they argued late last year before Houston County Circuit Judge Henry D. “Butch” Binford. The appeal will be before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Binford, in a January ruling, said he is unable to find evidence that Murphy was not fairly represented by defense attorney Matt Lamere during his 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 following a November 13 hearing on a new trial request. “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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