Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Former Ukiah Police Sergeant Cops a Plea—May Only Face Two Years Probation

Former Ukiah Police Sergeant Kevin Murray kissing a pig in 2019 before his termination from the department [Picture from the Ukiah Police Department Facebook page]

Kevin Murray, the former Ukiah police sergeant facing seven felonies and one misdemeanor, pled no contest to one felony and one misdemeanor at a pretrial conference late Thursday afternoon. He has not been sentenced, but he is facing anywhere between what the judge hinted would be the likely outcome of two years felony probation or the possibility of three or four years in jail. The date for his jury trial, originally set for July 18, has been vacated.  Presiding Judge Ann Moorman took the bench in Courtroom H, where Judge Carly Dolan usually presides, and ordered Murray to report to a probation officer within three days. Murray has served a total of 60 days in custody, and Moorman told the court she was “not inclined to add custodial time,” indicating that she prefers the option of supervised probation. 

Murray was originally charged with committing five felonies on November 25, 2020, but pled no contest to one that did not appear in the original charging documents: that of willfully engaging in intimidation to dissuade a female victim of a crime from reporting the crime. The victim in this case is a woman identified only as “S.Y.” MendoFever previously reported that the City of Ukiah settled with S.Y. for $250,000, and quoted then-Chief Noble Waidelich as saying that the settlement “admits no liability for the City or its employees.” Waidelich himself is being investigated by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on separate assault charges.

Murray also pled no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor charge for false imprisonment of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, sometime between June 1 and July 31 of 2014. He was originally charged with a forcible rape alleged to have taken place on June 1 of that year. 

Kevin Murray’s booking photo from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs

The original five felonies of November 25 were one charge of sexual battery, and two charges each of first-degree burglary and burglary with others present. He also faced a felony charge of forced oral copulation, alleged to have occurred on April 10 of 2014. His original misdemeanor charge was possession of a controlled substance. Because the sex crimes were dismissed, Murray will not have to register as a sex offender.

However, his status as a felon would mean that he would have a strike against him, which would have sentencing repercussions if he were to be charged with any future felonies. It also means he will never be allowed to own a firearm, ammunition, or a variety of other weapons for the rest of his life. Murray had previous difficulties with this requirement early last year, when he was ordered to surrender his firearms and only gave up four handguns and a rifle with a scope. At that time, he was facing an allegation of committing a sexual assault while armed with an assault weapon.

Another one of Kevin Murray’s booking photos from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs

A month after he submitted paperwork to the court saying he had surrendered all of his weapons, investigators discovered that he had hidden an assault rifle at his father-in-law’s house in Lake County. This led to District Attorney David Eyster requesting that Murray’s bail for charges of rape and forcible oral copulation be recalled and increased from $200,000 to $500,000. 

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Though Murray was fired by the Ukiah Police Department in late January of last year, the city and the police department are not done with him yet. Former UPD officer Isabel Siderakis is suing Murray, the city, and the police department in civil court on four counts of sexual harassment and hostile work environment, discrimination, retaliation, and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Siderakis now works for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and was present in court all afternoon during the pretrial conference. It is unclear at this time what bearing Murray’s status as a felon will have on the upcoming civil case Siderakis is bringing against him.

Murray brought considerable legal firepower to the criminal matter leading to Thursday’s plea arrangement. Court documents indicate that he is represented by five attorneys, led by Stephen Gallenson, who sat beside him in court on Thursday. The prosecutor is Deputy Mendocino County District Attorney Heidi Larson.

Murray will be sentenced on August 24. 

Our Coverage of Kevin Murray Since the Beginning

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  1. Of course just let the mother fucker free! Corruption at its finest UPD. What’s the hold up on the X Chief? Disgrace to the community and to the badge! Just keep paying out law suits. This city has gone to shit! City leaders need to go.

  2. We need to protest the court house. The DA and the judges need to know that the community isn’t ok with this. This has to stop. This isn’t fair to the victims or the community. And I haven’t seen one probation officer that can keep track of anyone let alone do their job. To many reoffend and end up in jail again multiple times. Sick to say the least.

  3. This is plea deal is appalling. It sends a clear message to women that they don’t matter in the Mendocino County criminal justice system. It also sends another clear message that cops can get away with anything. Kevin Murray is a piece of shit. I was hoping he would get what rapists with badges get what’s coming to them in prison — some real “jailhouse justice”.

  4. When an officer violates the law and the trust of the Community there should be no plea deal. The DA and Judge are an embarrassment on how they handled this. Even if the a plea deal is in place, for Ann Moorman to say she would lean towards probation and no jail time, are you kidding me? Maybe some people need to be recalled!!!!

  5. You have to have morality to experience shame….Just maybe, when it’s the Daughter or Granddaughter of the DA or judge or another fellow officer being assaulted, maybe then, will a crime so heinous be punishable by which the law states.

  6. I stand with the victims and as a woman i am scared for us. This is disgusting!!! We need to do something for our community our daughters,nieces, and granddaughters arent safe!! The DA, Cops and Judges here are DO NOT CARE. 1312

  7. Do we all get leniency for felonious crimes or is it reserved for “law enforcement” & those in the “justice” system? How disgraceful!! & to just tell the public to our faces that they are above reproach & above the law is unconscionable. Fucking disgusting! Clean house, top to bottom

  8. How many dirtbags are getting out of jail because this dirtbag’s testimony put them in. Waidelich’s as well.

  9. Wow! Awesome! Can’t wait for my next opportunity at jury duty! Judges moorman and Dolan, you rock! My faith in the justice system is bolstered by this sentence!

  10. You’d think once a $250,000 settlement was made due to the actions of this deviant cop, that the wheels of “justice” would have made an example of him to future deviants.Instead the “blue line” stood up on their hind quarters and retaliated against the victim for causing a fuss! And they wonder why they get called “PIGS”!

  11. This just pisses me off!!!!! Disgusting!! Didn’t he steal someone’s wallet not that long ago? He beat the crap out of a man after entering his home illegally! What a good citizen, right?! Give him probation, that will teach him! NOT

  12. So many questions regarding this! First and foremost, how can he plead guilty to intimidating a witness and get off on the other charges? It seems that admitting to intimidating a witness implies guilt in the other crimes, especially the one involving the female officer, who eventually had to quit her job because of harassment! The DA really dropped the ball on this, and with good reason. A guilty verdict on all charges would bolster the other civil suits against Murray AND the county, and might cast a shadow on Mr. Eyster’s performance during all of this mayhem. Of course this is completely off the wall messed up, and the taxpayers/county will have to pay the civil suits, and Mr. Eyster’s salary for a considerably under par performance. Also, who is paying for Murray’s five attorneys, since there is no way he could afford five attorneys himself? I don’t know the law on this, but, in my view, that should be a matter of public record. If the county is being billed in any way for Murray’s defense, what then? I mean, a judge making a ruling regarding a case that could embarrass county law enforcement and cost the county a considerable sum, is already a conflict of interest. The trial should have never taken place in Mendocino County.

    • Five attorneys is a very large bill for a guy who’s last offense was purse snatching! You’re absolutely right ! This whole thing reeks of PD misconduct and DA mismanagement.

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Sarah Reith
Sarah Reith
Sarah Reith is a radio and print reporter working in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, focusing on local politics and environmental news.

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