The Dayton man who went on trial for stabbing two men outside the Miamisburg Moose Lodge in February was acquitted last week by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury.
Thomas E. Murphy Jr., 46, was found not guilty on four counts of felonious assault and one count of public indecency. Murphy admitted to the Feb. 4, 2017 stabbing but claimed self defense.
Montgomery County public defender Michael Dailey thanked the jury in a statement to this news organization.
“There are no winners in this case. It is a tragedy that anyone was hurt,” Dailey said. “However, Thomas was placed in the unwanted position of having to use his pocket knife against those two guys whose sole intentions were to violently attack my client.
Dailey said lodge surveillance video shows Murphy backing up during a confrontation with Walter Steele and Christopher White outside the members-only establishment at 2110 E. Central Ave.
“Thomas was asked to leave the bar,” Dailey said. “He walked out, and was waiting for his roommate so that they could leave (after the roommate collected Murphy’s coat, phone, etc.).”
Dailey said White had confronted Murphy inside the bar regarding an incident between Murphy and White’s wife. Dailey said Steele and White “advanced on Thomas while Thomas was backing up, and violently attacked Thomas between the vehicles.”
A statement of facts filed in Miamisburg Municipal Court said Murphy stabbed the men with an orange camouflage folding knife.
Dailey said his client has a bad back and was repeatedly kicked by Steele, White and White’s wife.
“The police arrived and had to pull Thomas off the ground,” Dailey said, adding that his client was supposed to get his knife back soon. “The jury found Thomas lawfully used deadly force to stop the attack.”
One man required stitches on his left front thigh area and the other’s wounds included a punctured diaphragm, spleen and three broken ribs, according to the statement of facts.
“While we believe there was sufficient evidence to prove the defendant unjustifiably assaulted and seriously injured the victims, the jury returned a not guilty verdict,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kimberly Melnick said in a statement from the prosecutor’s office. “While the verdict is disappointing, all the available evidence was presented to the jury.”