Fired Prichard police officer allegedly killed neighbor over noise complaints, worked as courtesy officer at complex

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Fired Prichard police officer, Jonathan Murphy, allegedly killed his neighbor over an ongoing dispute about noise at the apartment complex they both lived at, a homicide detective testified in court on Wednesday.

Murphy was terminated from his job as a Prichard police officer after the alleged incident.

Mobile police say Murphy shot and killed 39-year-old Larry Taylor.

The shooting happened just after 10:00 p.m. on December 21st at the Avalon Plaza Apartments on Michael Boulevard.

At the scene, police found Taylor deceased after he had been shot multiple times.

Murphy was arrested and booked into jail but was later released after he made his $200,000 bond.

Murphy appeared alongside his attorney in court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing where a homicide detective with the Mobile Police Department testified that Murphy shot and killed Taylor during a dispute over noise complaints.

The detective says Murphy and Taylor lived in nearby units at the complex, where Murphy also worked as a courtesy officer, and the pair had been disputing over noise for months leading up to the shooting.

On the evening of the shooting, the homicide detective testified Taylor and Murphy got into a verbal fight that turned physical and led to Murphy fatally shooting Taylor.

The judge bound the case over to the grand jury.

Murphy did not answer our questions outside the courtroom but his attorney told WKRG News 5 that Murphy is not guilty of any crime.

“I just don’t think Officer Murphy is guilty of anything. He’s doing his job as a courtesy officer and there’s plenty of officers who have gotten killed over domestic stuff,” said Jeff Deen, who represents Murphy.

Murphy was also involved in a fatal shooting in 2017. The family of the man killed in that shooting, Lawrence Hawkins, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Murphy last year. The case is still pending in federal court. In the lawsuit it says Hawkins was unarmed and sitting in his parked car in front on his home when he was shot. The lawsuit also centers around alleging that Prichard Police’s policies allowed for this type of excessive force, a nod to the fact that Murphy kept his job after the incident.

Murphy remains out of jail on bond until his next court appearance.

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