Murphy skirts jail in plea deal

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Murphy and her lawyer, Rick Santwier, declined to comment. Murphy was ordered to return to court Feb. 22 to offer proof she has enrolled in the programs. If she fails to complete the counseling classes, she could be sentenced to three years in state prison on the drug charge and up to six months in jail on the child-endangerment charge, Krag said. If she completes the diversion programs, she can petition the court to have the case dismissed in 18 months and removed from her record. Murphy was arrested July 13 in a case connected to the Vineland Boys. More than 40 members of the gang are awaiting trial in a federal racketeering case, accused of drug dealing, assaults, robberies and murders, including the 2003 slaying of Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka. The rookie officer’s death prompted a massive manhunt by local, state and federal authorities to track down the killer, a suspected member of the gang. PASADENA – Former Burbank City Councilwoman Stacey Murphy avoided jail time by pleading guilty Thursday to drug and child-endangerment charges in a case connected to the Vineland Boys street gang. During a hearing in Pasadena Superior Court, Murphy, 47, answered “yes” to questions from prosecutor Thomas Krag about whether she understood the charges against her. As part of the deal, she will enter a drug-rehabilitation program, take parenting classes and be monitored by the court for five years, officials said. “This is an appropriate resolution for a defendant who was a leader in the community, but whose drug use clouded her judgment and put her young son’s life in potential danger,” Krag said in a prepared statement. Investigators linked Murphy’s longtime boyfriend, Scott Schaffer, to the case in June, when they found one of his guns – an Uzi semiautomatic pistol – in the dresser drawer of a Vineland Boys gang member. On July 13, police seized more handguns, ammunition, methamphetamine and cocaine at Schaffer’s Glendale home. In an eight-hour taped interrogation with Burbank police, Schaffer admitted trading guns for cocaine, said he stored more guns at Murphy’s home and revealed that she kept cocaine in the bedroom closet. Schaffer also told detectives he and Murphy bought cocaine at a North Hollywood bar known as a gang hangout. Murphy knew that two of the men he was trading guns with were Vineland Boys, he told police. Schaffer has pleaded guilty to one count of trading two guns to a member of the Vineland Boys for cocaine. Free on $1 million bond, he is due in court in June to be sentenced to at least five years in federal prison. He has also been ordered into a drug-rehabilitation program. During a search of Murphy’s Lima Street home, police found three guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and two bags of cocaine. She was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment because the guns were accessible to her 12-year-old son. After the arrest, Murphy said in an open letter to the city that she would not attend council meetings until after her court date and would keep up with city business from home. She said she intended to finish out her term, which would have ended in 2009. But on Aug. 30, seven days after she was charged with felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor child endangerment, she resigned. In another open letter, she wrote that the charges she faced were a “distraction” to the business of the city. “This is not an easy decision for me personally,” she wrote. “However, for the best interests of our city, and my children, it is the right thing to do. Our council has many important issues facing it at this time. The distractions caused by my personal issues should not be a factor that the council should have to deal with.” — Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more