Pasco man held on $250,000 bail for allegedly waving shotgun at police

Tri-City HeraldSeptember 2, 2014 

Christopher Lee Murphy

Christopher Lee Murphy appears Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court. He's accused of pointing a shotgun at Pasco police officers last week during a domestic dispute. The officers fired at him but he was not wounded.

BOB BRAWDY — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

A Pasco man is being held on $250,000 bail while prosecutors decide how to charge him for allegedly pointing a loaded shotgun at police last week.

Christopher Lee Murphy, 40, made his first appearance Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court since his Aug. 28 arrest at his parents’ home.

It is unclear if Murphy actually fired at officers, though his father was adamant in an interview with investigators that he heard two shots come from the basement where his son was, court documents said.

Officer Josh Madsen was later found to have fired 11 times at Murphy out of fear of being fatally shot when he saw Murphy raise a shotgun in his direction, documents said.

Murphy was not hit and surrendered to police soon after.

On Tuesday, Judge Cameron Mitchell found probable cause to hold Murphy for first-degree assault. Formal charges must be filed by this afternoonor he must be released.

Prosecutor Shawn Sant requested the high bail amount because of the allegations.

Murphy wanted to be let out on his personal recognizance, but Mitchell denied it because they’re “very serious allegations.”

Officers responded to a Road 68 home at 10:16 p.m. after a neighbor reported hearing Murphy in the yard demanding that his guns be handed over to him, court documents said. The yelling stopped by the time police arrived.

Murphy was banned from the house because of a domestic violence no-contact order with his mother.

Murphy’s parents, Cheryl and Dorsey, came outside and told Madsen and Officer David Herrera they were the only two in the house.

But then, Dorsey Murphy reportedly noticed his son standing behind a basement door and yelled to him, “Hey, put that down.” Madsen repeatedly ordered Christopher Murphy to show his hands. When he saw the shotgun aimed at the officers, Madsen fired, later telling Detective Tony Aceves, “I feared for my life,” documents said.

Murphy retreated into the basement for several minutes, then came out. A shotgun containing eight cartridges was found under a couch in the basement, and detectives found pellet damage on the door frame along with a spent cartridge where Murphy had been standing, documents said.

Sant told the court that Murphy’s criminal history includes criminal trespass, driving under the influence and bail jumping, along with extensive driving-related offenses going back 10 years.

Murphy has pending cases, including a third-degree assault on a law enforcement officer from July 3, 2013.

In that Benton County Superior Court case, Richland police notified the Benton County jail that they were transporting an uncooperative prisoner who was in wrist and ankle restraints, had hobble straps around his knees and was wearing a hood.

Murphy was agitated and complaining of pain when he was removed from a patrol car at the jail, according to court documents. He removed the hood enough to spit at corrections officers, hitting one on the right shoulder and sleeve and another on the face and chest, documents said.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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