December 03, 2004
Murphy briefly takes the stand

Calvin Murphy testified in his own defense yesterday, but not for long.

Reading verbatim from court documents, defense attorney Rusty Hardin asked Murphy whether he "intentionally and knowingly engaged in sexual contact" with his daughters "by touching the genitals ... with the intent to arouse or gratify your sexual desire."

"Absolutely not," the 56-year-old former TV commentator said, biting his upper lip and appearing to fight back tears. "No, I did not."

Murphy repeated his denial after Hardin read each of the six indictments. Then Hardin ended the testimony abruptly.

"They can have you now. Pass the witness," he said.

The star witness' direct testimony, lasting less than five minutes, came in stark contrast to the rest of the four-week trial, in which minute details of Murphy's family life have been described and debated.


Prosecutors Lance Long and Paula Storts appeared surprised when state District Judge Michael McSpadden told them to begin their cross-examination just moments after Murphy got on the witness stand.

Long paused for a moment and shuffled papers before beginning to ask Murphy about his unusual family tree, which includes 14 children by nine women.


After about one hour and 15 minutes, Long ended his cross-examination, making Murphy one of the trial's briefest witnesses.

Curious strategy by Rusty Hardin. I guess their intent is to imply that there's nothing there for Murphy to deny. I suppose the brief cross-examination could also be taken as evidence that the prosecution feels its case speaks pretty well for itself, too. I confess, before this trial I never thought there was much chance of a conviction, but now I'm not so sure. Looks like the jury will get this sometime next week, so we'll know soon enough.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 03, 2004 to Crime and Punishment | TrackBack