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Marietta man sentenced for trafficking heroin

Photo by Michele Newbanks Edward Murphy Jr. and his attorney, George Cosenza, await sentencing Friday morning at the Washington County Courthouse.

A 38-year-old Marietta man received 60 days in jail for trafficking in heroin Friday, after pleading guilty to the fourth-degree felony in May.

Edward “Pooh” Murphy Jr. of 204 Brandy Drive, was arrested in April 2018 and charged with aggravated trafficking in fentanyl, a fourth-degree felony; trafficking in heroin, a fourth-degree felony; trafficking in heroin within the vicinity of a juvenile, a third-degree felony; aggravated trafficking in drugs within the vicinity of a juvenile, a third-degree felony; possession of heroin, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a fourth-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor; and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

“I’ll admit I’m a bit conflicted when it comes to this sentencing. Trafficking is a terrible crime that gets a lot of people addicted and ruins lives,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Derkin. “He went to rehab on his own and got clean. His probation officer wrote a letter for him and they’re the first ones to throw people under the bus, so he must have impressed him, which impressed me. He’s working a full-time job and paying child support.”

He said that although he believes Murphy needs punishment for his crimes, a 90-day jail sentence should be sufficient. He also agreed that since roofing season continues until November, the jail sentence should be postponed until Nov. 1 so he could keep his job and continue paying child support.

Murphy’s defense attorney, George Cosenza, agreed with Derkin.

“Yes, it is a difficult decision. What’s so impressive about this young man and what he’s done, is that No. 1, he recognized what he was doing was wrong. He tried to right that wrong by first getting himself straightened out,” Cosenza said. “So on his own, he goes to rehab, completes that rehab and goes to work. He gets a job and becomes responsible. He takes care of his little girl, who he not only supports financially, but also emotionally. She stays with him all the time. In fact, he was awarded shared parenting with that little girl after he completed his rehab.”

He shared a glowing letter from Murphy’s employer, as well as an unsolicited letter from his probation officer.

“He’s accepted responsibility, he’s genuinely remorseful for what he did, he’s forfeited property that were the illegal gains from his activity,” Cosenza said. “A substantial amount of money, without fighting about it, giving it to the state, and hopefully they can do something with that that helps victims of these types of crimes. There’s not much more he can do to make up for his bad behavior.”

He agreed that Murphy’s crime was serious, but that his client was trying to turn his life around. He said they expected jail time, but hoped Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi would only give him a 30-day sentence.

Murphy spoke in his own defense, saying “I messed up. I know I messed up.”

He said he had been injured and the doctor prescribed pain medication, which he became dependent on.

“I made a lot of bad decisions I’m extremely regretful about now,” he told the court. “I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry. I wish I could change my life.”

After Kerenyi went over Murphy’s prior convictions, he sentenced him to 60 days in jail, which starts Nov. 1. Murphy was also given five years of community control sanctions

Derkin said Murphy had forfeited approximately $12,000, which went to the task force to split up between agencies. He also had to forfeit a Beretta PX4 handgun.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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