Sunday, July 21, 2024

Last-Ditch Effort to Levy a Suspended Jail Term on Disgraced UPD Sergeant

Kevin Murray [Picture from the MCSO Booking Logs]

Mendocino County probation officers are arguing for a 12-month suspended jail term for former Ukiah Police Sgt. Kevin Murray. It is a move vigorously opposed by the high-powered defense team who negotiated a plea bargain that saw prosecutors agree to strike three sex felonies from the disgraced cop’s criminal case.

The probation call for a suspended jail term is a new twist to the planned sentencing of Murray, now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A suspended sentence is where a judge orders jail or prison time, but delays imposing it in order to allow a defendant to serve time on probation. If a defendant violates probation, the judge can impose the original term. In criminal law, a suspended sentence and probation are two different things. A suspended sentence is a type of court-imposed penalty for a crime. Probation, though, is a lesser type of alternative to jail where a defendant serves his sentence in the community under the supervision of the judge or a probation officer.

Murray as part of his plea deal with Mendocino County prosecutors entered no contest pleas to a felony charge of intimidating a witness – the woman in the motel room – and a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge related to a person identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe,” but believed to be the woman in Lake County who has said Murray twice in 2014 forced her to perform a sex act on him. 

In its unreleased report, the probation office apparently cites objections to a non-jail sentence from the Lake County victim as among the need for a 12-month jail term to be imposed.

Ukiah Police Officer Kevin Murray and his K9 Partner Thor [Picture from the Ukiah Police Department website]

Santa Rosa defense attorney Stephen Gallenson late Friday filed a formal objection to the probation office recommendation with Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.

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Gallenson contends that the probation department is going beyond the terms of an analysis and evaluation agreed upon when the plea deal on Murray’s behalf was negotiated. 

“Extensive discussion took place between the Court and the counsel prior to the change of plea in this matter,” Gallenson wrote Judge Moorman.

 “This was a negotiated disposition and the Court indicated that it did not intend to impose any additional jail time so long as there were no surprises regarding Mr. Murray’s background,” said Gallenson.

Now, citing in its report a letter from the Lake County woman, Gallenson said the probation office is asking for a suspended 12-month jail term.

“The Probation Report confirms Mr. Murray’s lack of criminal history, his service in the military, the time already incarcerated, and his remorse and recognition of the negative impact of his conduct,” according to Gallenson.

Gallenson said Murray remains sober after attending a 30-day alcohol treatment program since his firing, and he is “actively engaged in mental health treatment.” 

Judge Moorman is being asked by Gallenson to “…follow its initial indication and impose no further jail time,” suspended or otherwise.

Kevin Murray [Picture from the MCSO Booking Logs]

Gallenson filed letters of support in favor of probation only for Murray, from his third wife, and friends and family members.

Heather Murray said she and Murray started dating and later married after he completed a 30-day inpatient alcohol treatment program in early 2017.  Together they are raising four children ages 7-17 at their home in Lakeport.

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“We have struggled to shelter our children from the hateful comments on social media, and the backlash of being in the public eye,” wrote Heather Murray.

Heather Murray is a nurse by profession, and she said, “My decision to stay married to my husband amidst the multitude of allegations has cost me friendships I valued, respect I worked hard to earn, and the ability to move on with my life but I would have missed out on the opportunity to love someone unconditionally.”

“Any further jail time will not only hinder his personal progress but will also be extremely detrimental to our four children who have had to watch this chapter in our lives unfold from the sidelines,” she wrote.

Jennifer Sperber, the mother of Murray’s two oldest children, also wrote the court in favor of no further jail time. She said they met in 2003 while both served as military police officers overseas in Iraq. They were divorced in 2011, in part because “he struggled with alcohol throughout our marriage.”

 But now he is sober, maintaining his sobriety, and actively engaged in rearing his children, she said.

“He is consistent, and dependable, always putting the children first.” 

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  1. Well the guy was such a great person before he became a criminal cop! Lots of criminals were good citizens before they decided to break the law, someone who takes an oath to uphold the law and then breaks it deserves to feel the full measure of punishment!!

  2. Cry me a river…this man should be in jail. And if not then I approve of the shunning of this family. What about the victims lives that he has ruined? He gets a pass because of his “addictions” and his past military service? What about his more recent abhorrent police service in our community and witness intimidation?? Once upon a time we were taught to take personal responsibility for our actions, but now it’s acceptable to point the fingers every which way except towards oneself, it literally is a get out of jail free card…

  3. Wow. Codependency at its finest. Someone tell his wife she deserves better. You can unconditionally love someone AND let them go.
    And that poor dog in the photo.

  4. Actually, while a suspended sentence kicks in if a defendant’s probation is revoked, up to a year of jail time can be imposed as a condition of probation. Seems like it might be the latter that is being sought as the suspended sentence could only be 16 months, 2 years or 3 years state prison for this type of offense

  5. Actually, the prison term options for this offense from which a suspended sentence would be selected are 16 months, 2 years or 3 years or 2, 3 or 4 years if the crime involved force or threats. However, as a condition of probation up to a year in the county jail can be imposed which is apparently what is being sought here.

  6. He did a 30 day program? Not hardly impressive. Did he do it because he got caught up in a number of sex crimes that he now has plea bargained himself out of. This case is an example of an entire system gone wrong! There are at lease 3 victims who’s lives have been changed forever. Does anyone care about them? Their families? I’m disgusted by this whole case. Had Murray been an average man with a drinking problem would the DA be making deals to go so lightly on him. Yeah, so let’s caudle a cop and work hard to keep him out of jail. Give him probation so he can meet with one of his peers, who by the way are considered law enforcement agents. This is pathetic, unjust and should cause the public to be outraged!

  7. I wonder who’s paying for the attorneys? Is it out of pocket or does the department/city pay attorneys fees since many of the allegations stem from his on the job “services”?

  8. Unbelievable!!! This man is a disgrace… I think any veteran would agree! He’s getting away with this why? Because of prior military service? This just goes to show that the system is broken! Should have thrown the book at him! You’re a disgrace to the uniform period!! Where is the power of the people on this subject?? He should be stripped of all military and civilian accomplishments period!

  9. This County needs intervention from the State and/or Federal authorities. Start with a phone call to Mike McGuire, 707 468 8914.

  10. Murray needs to go to PRISON! Bubba is waiting for him there. Let Murray see what it feels like to be raped and victimized. As for him needing to be there to be a father for his kids, sorry, but he should have been thinking of that risk as he made the choice to molest his victims… And under color of law! That should get him double the sentence. He was in a position of trust and authority and had taken an oath to uphold the law. Nothing is sacred to this guy, and I don’t think he’s learned his lesson at all. The justice system in Mendocino County should be ASHAMED of themselves, as they apparently promote and condone rape, cops taking drugs, brutalizing women and girls, and threatening witnesses. The $250,000 they are giving the girl who was forced to give Murray s blow job is an insult. Try starting the bid at $2,500,000… I guess us taxpayers are footing the bill for that payoff, aren’t we?

  11. It makes sense, in Mendocino County the historical standard is to murder minorities, intentionally discriminate, poo poo your many rights, and act selectively with utmost prejudice in all matters. What’s not working?

    The County’s justice system wants you to know that your life is worth less than this pathetic cop…just swallow it!

  12. A letter to the victims of rapist Kevin Murray
    You are not responsible for the hurt, betrayal, silencing, and victimization that rapist Kevin Murray willingly and intentionally caused you and your loved ones.
    You are not and shall not be held responsible for the “loss of career” rapist Kevin Murray caused on himself by choosing to commit crimes against you, other victims, and the betrayal to the oath he took for the community of Ukiah. He chose with strong commitment to commit crimes. That is his pill to swallow.
    To the victim he took advantage of knowing he was a white male senior officer, knowing he was in a position of power and authority, using your vulnerability to his advantage, I’m sorry he used that to try to get his way. I’m sorry you had to sleep on the nasty floor of a hotel bathroom to save yourself from being raped. I’m sorry your department failed to protect you. I’m sorry your story has been ignored by the justice system. I’m sorry community members did not see you until Chief Wyatt suddenly disappeared, Chief Waidelich was fired, and Sergeant Pintane remains hidden in the four walls of a corrupt department avoiding accountability. You are seen by community members. You have been heard. You matter.
    To the victim he took advantage of knowing she was a family friend, I’m sorry rapist Kevin Murray manipulated his way into your home. He used his charismatic personality to gain your trust then later used it against you to manipulate his attorneys to believe he is innocent. I’m sorry rapist Kevin Murray intentionally and forcibly sexually assaulted you. Not only once, but more than once. I’m sorry rapist Kevin Murray’s actions were only classified as misdemeanor after the many months of court appearances to at the end only be told he may get probation. You may not have been given the opportunity to speak in court but we, the community, see and hear you. You matter.
    To the victim of the hotel, I’m sorry he used his power of a police officer to justify his encounter with you then later chose to willingly and intentionally force you to conduct sexual favors on him. I’m sorry rapist Kevin Murray caused you intentional emotional harm when he trapped you in that hotel room to engage in sexual activity. I’m sorry you had to make the right, yet difficult, decision to report the heinous crimes to his peers. I’m sorry your story was not shared in court and the opportunity of confronting your abuser was stolen from you by rapist Kevin Murray working out a plea. We see you. You matter.
    To the wife of rapist Kevin Murray that said she stayed with him because she “would have missed the opportunity to love someone unconditionally”, please seek therapy. Co-dependency is real. There are other fish in the sea. You are worthy of faithful, honest, true love. Rapist Kevin Murray’s selfish, willful and intentional acts to cheat on you are strong signs of him being self-centered. I’m sorry rapist Kevin Murray has dragged you and your family through emotional turmoil because he chooses not to accept responsibility. You deserve better. You matter.
    To the officer who had to write recommendations for rapist Kevin Murray’s sentencing, I’m sorry you were not given complete reports of the hideous acts this ill willed person committed on the victims he prayed and sought after.
    In closing, many lives were negatively impacted by rapist Kevin Murray’s actions and he is still avoiding accountability. Let us pray the justice system holds rapist Kevin Murray accountable before he prays on more victims. Rapist Kevin Murray’s victims deserve justice.

    • This is a matter of U.S. law, not religious prayers or dogmatic biblical refuse. 172+ years of prayer have not been effective, and continues to impose its will to destroy non-religious American culture…this is a matter of law!

      I truly hope the victims find peace, and it is okay if you toss the bible in the bin. ?


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