AM 890 and Serving the Kenai Peninsula
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Former judge's arraignment in perjury trial delayed

Sabine Poux

The arraignment of a retired Homer judge who is being charged with perjury has been delayed by more than a month.

Margaret Murphy was indicted on one felony perjury count late last month by a grand jury in Kenai, and her arraignment was originally scheduled for Tuesday of this week. Clint Campion, the independent prosecutor in Murphy’s case, said he asked for the arraignment date to be changed because he learned Murphy is currently traveling outside the country, and won’t be back until mid-June.

Although the indictment was sparse in detail, it did include a list of witnesses that suggest a link to the case of David Haeg, a Soldotna man who has long accused Murphy of conspiring against him.

Murphy was the judge in Haeg’s 2004 trial for unlawful hunting. Haeg was charged, and says he believes Murphy discussed the case when she got a ride from the trial’s primary witness, a state trooper. The trial was held in McGrath, where the judge said she had no other way to get around. In the years since, Haeg has become a vocal advocate for the investigative powers of Alaska grand juries.

Haeg has celebrated Murphy’s indictment as a win for his cause, and invited supporters and journalists to attend the arraignment to, “Celebrate our Kenai Grand Jury taking down the first of Alaska’s corrupt judges.”

On Monday of this week, all three Kenai Superior Court judges filed to recuse themselves from Murphy’s case. It has been reassigned to Thomas Matthews, a superior court judge in Anchorage.

Murphy’s arraignment is now set for June 23, at 10 a.m. in the Kenai Courthouse.

Riley Board is a Report For America reporter covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL.