Man charged with murdering worker at Southeast Alaska logging camp
A 26-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting a worker at a Southeast Alaska logging camp Wednesday after he allegedly confessed the crime to a colleague.
Court records show Timothy P. Murphy, 26, of Ketchikan was charged with first-degree murder in the case. A charging document against Murphy, written by Alaska State Trooper Robert Jensen, identified the victim as Brian Stanton, 64, of Ketchikan.
According to Jensen, troopers were first informed at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday of Stanton’s death at the Phoenix Logging camp on Prince of Wales Island. Staff at the camp subsequently told troopers that Stanton had been “shot in the back of the head while sitting on a couch,” and that Murphy was detained by other employees after he told the camp boss he was responsible for Stanton’s death.
One of Stanton’s two roommates in a trailer at the camp, Phillip Bennett, told troopers Stanton had been sitting on the couch working on a laptop when Bennett left the trailer at about 6 a.m. to eat breakfast. As he passed Murphy's trailer, he saw Murphy standing in its doorway.
“Phillip said Murphy looked surprised as he walked by and appeared to conceal an item from Phillip’s view,” Jensen wrote. “Approximately 5-10 minutes later, Phillip heard a commotion; returning to his trailer he along with other employees found Stanton deceased.”
Stanton’s other roommate told troopers he was awakened by “someone yelling, ‘What the (expletive)” followed by two pops” which sounded like small-caliber gunfire. Troopers found a number of .22-caliber shell casings and an unfired round lying on the floor near Stanton, who had been shot twice.
Murphy first confessed that he had “shot someone” to his roommate, Jensen wrote. When he spoke with the camp boss, Murphy told him the weapon he used was in his trailer.
When troopers asked Murphy about the gun, he told them, “I am not in possession of a firearm,” then ended the interview.
Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain was awaiting further details from investigators Thursday morning.