KANSAS CITY, Mo.—A Missouri jail nurse who allegedly wanted to marry a man convicted of killing a lottery winner has been charged with poisoning her husband and setting their home on fire, according to court records.
Amy Murray, 40, is facing charges including first-degree murder and arson in Dec. 11 death of her husband, Joshua Murray.
Investigators said he was found dead in the master bedroom of the couple’s burned-out home in Iberia, and that his wife later told the prison inmate in a recorded phone call that they could get married because her husband was “out of the picture.”
An autopsy determined her husband was poisoned by a chemical in antifreeze and likely died before the blaze started.
Amy Murray remained jailed Monday on a $750,000 bond. Her attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message Monday seeking comment from The Associated Press.
Murray reported finding the home ablaze when she returned from taking the couple’s 11-year-old son and two dogs to a McDonald’s, a Miller County sheriff’s detective wrote in a probable cause statement released last week. She told investigators she couldn’t get inside the home because the house was filled with smoke.
But investigators said they found a McDonald’s sandwich on the kitchen counter at the house in Iberia, which is about 140 miles (about 225 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City.
Murray worked part-time as a nurse at the Jefferson City Correctional Facility, where she had a “romantic relationship” with inmate Eugene Claypool that had been ongoing “for some time,” according to authorities and charging documents. Claypool, who isn’t charged in the case, was sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing an elderly man in 2000.
In recorded phone calls at the facility, Murray told Claypool she wanted to divorce her husband. Following the fire, she allegedly told Claypool they could get married because her husband was dead and “out of the picture,” according to court documents. She and Claypool also discussed getting an attorney so Claypool could be released from prison early.
Murray worked at the prison through Corizon Health, a private company that provides health care at the state’s prisons. A spokeswoman, Martha Harbin, said Monday that Murray was fired from the company. She could not provide the time frame that Murray worked for the company.
Claypool and another man pleaded guilty to killing 72-year-old Donald Hardwick, who was attacked in his home on Christmas Day in 2000. Hardwick, who couldn’t walk without using a walker, won a $1.7 million Missouri Lottery jackpot in 1998. Investigators said Claypool and his co-defendant targeted Hardwick believing he had $10,000 stashed in his Springfield home.
Investigators said Claypool repeatedly stabbed Hardwick, whose wife later found him dead with a Bible on his chest.
By Heather Hollingsworth
Mother of 10-Year-Old Accuses Husband of Torturing Child and Her
The mother of a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly killed by her stepfather said that her husband tortured her along with her daughter.
In new court documents filed on Feb. 8, Sharon Carrillo’s legal team argued that she was a victim along with Marissa Kennedy, at one point forced to strip naked with the girl and pose while her husband Julio Carrillo physically and sexually assaulted them.
Marissa was abused for months before she was found dead in her family’s condominium in 2018, leading to murder charges against Sharon and Julio Carrillo. Police said the couple decided to stage the death to try to make it look like an accident. They’re both being held pending trials scheduled for August.
New evidence that had not been released publicly until the court filing and another motion filed by Sharon Carrillo’s attorneys, including descriptions of a photograph recovered from Julio Carrillo’s phone that details abuse of both the child and her mother, shows that Sharon Carrillo was was experiencing “extreme physical, sexual, and psychological abuse designed to cause physical and emotional agony,” according to one filing.
“Julio Carrillo would physically force [Sharon and Marissa] to strip naked and kneel together on the floor of their home. He would force them to hold their arms in the air and threaten to beat them with his hands and other objects if they lowered their arms,” the lawyers wrote. Julio Carrillo also sexually assaulted them, according to the documents.
— NEWS CENTER Maine (@newscentermaine) February 8, 2019
The alleged torture of Sharon and Marissa by Julio Carrillo imposed a new reality on them, Sharon Carrillo’s legal team said.
Noting that Sharon Carrillo admitted that she was “50 percent” responsible for her daughter’s death, the torture and reality shift calls into question the validity of the confession, her team argued.
Because of that and due to Sharon Carrillo’s intelligence falling in the bottom 2 percent of the population, any statements she made, including her admission of guilt, should be considered voluntary and should be suppressed, her lawyers said.
The team also said that Sharon Carrillo should have a separate trial from her husband, saying if they had a joint trial it would result in substantial prejudice from and confusion for jurors.
“Sharon was actually the victim of significant domestic violence at the hands of Julio Carrillo,” Laura Shaw, one of the Camden Law attorneys representing Sharon Carrillo. told WGME.
“Every criminal defendant has the right to a fair trial and the right to participate in his or her trial, and Sharon would not be afforded those rights if she was forced to participate in a trial with Julio Carrillo.”
Julio Carrillo’s lawyer denied the new torture claims on Friday after they were filed in court.
HAPPENING TODAY: Marissa Kennedy's mother wants her marriage annulled. Sharon and Julio Carrillo are accused of beating the 10-year-old to death last February. The two were married back in 2015, but her lawyer says Julio is still married to another woman. @newscentermaine pic.twitter.com/9MqXiLUNiF
— Samantha York (@samanthayorkME) January 3, 2019
“Sharon Carrillo’s attempts to deflect all blame onto Julio, in the end, are not going to be successful,” Darrick X. Banda, Carrillo’s attorney, told the Bangor Daily News.
He said that his client wants a joint trial.
Christopher MacLean, another attorney for Sharon Carrillo, said in March 2018 that family members of his client told him she has been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities since she was a child and attended schools based on that diagnosis.
“The operating theory that I have is Sharon did not actually participate in the abuse of Marissa,” he told the Portland Press-Herald at the time. “The facts that are starting to get generated are painting a very different picture of what happened and why some things were said to police, and it has everything to do with Julio orchestrating a fiction about what really happened.”
Sharon Carrillo also attempted to annul her marriage to Julio Carrillo, filing a motion in January.
The Epoch Times reporter Zack Stieber contributed to this article.