Retired judge to be arraigned for perjury

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Margaret Murphy, a retired Homer district court judge, is set to appear for an arraignment hearing on Friday, facing one charge of perjury.

The hearing will be conducted telephonically and will be live-streamed, according to Superior Court Judge Thomas Matthews.

The indictment, driven by a Kenai grand jury, accuses Murphy of committing perjury during an incident that occurred last November in or near her hometown of Homer. She faces one count of perjury, a class B felony under Alaskan law. The grand jury investigation’s report has been kept secret.

Perjury occurs when an individual knowingly provides false information under oath. The indictment alleges that Murphy committed perjury during a specific event.

While details about the accusation remain unknown, the case appears to involve David Haeg, a local activist who has previously accused Murphy of judicial bias. The entire incident originates with a case that happened two decades ago.

In 2004, Haeg was convicted on a charge related to a hunting trip in McGrath, where Murphy had presided over his trial and sentencing.

Despite previous misconduct allegations made against Murphy by Haeg, the retired judge managed to overcome those accusations.

However, the current indictment poses a more significant threat, carrying a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

According to the records available, which are few, during a trial in which Haeg was the defendant, Judge Murphy asked the primary witness in Haeg’s trial — Alaska State Trooper Brett Gibbens — to chauffeur her around town during a trial breaks.

Haeg claims that Murphy and Gibbens could use that time together in the car to conspire about the case. Murphy has denied that.

Kenai Superior Court judges Jason Gist and Kelly Lawson, along with Deputy Presiding Judge Lance Joanis, have recused themselves from the case.

The arraignment in State v. Murphy will be livestreamed on https://stream.akcourts.gov at 10 am on on Friday, June 23, 2023.

30 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my.

    Yep, perfect recipe for a half-baked pie.

    Ingredients: a Kenai grand jury and David Haeg.

    I was concerned that Murphy got knocked on her head, went crazy, and her good ethics tumbled out.

    Now I see a grand jury of rank amateurs and David Haeg.

    Fruits and nuts anyone? Got some fresh in the Kenai Courthouse.

    The only person for whom I have more sympathy for than Murphy on this is the poor prosecutor who has to ethically and vigorously pursue prosecution. He’ll have a few million maalox moments on this one.

    • C’mon though, literally the judge has the primary witness, a Trooper no less, squire her about town on breaks??? They both knew, as anyone would, that that was completely inappropriate and way out of line. And yet they did it anyways.
      Alaska…the Arkansas of the North.

    • “Now I see a grand jury of rank amateurs”? As opposed to what? The more professional kind?
      “half-baked pie.” “Fruits and nuts”
      You have a lot of derogatory remarks but your post is totally devoid of any reason why someone should not consider this prosecution 100% valid.
      And I suspect you know that IF the judge was being chauffeur her around by the primary witness, that’s a big deal!

    • I don’t have much sympathy for anybody anymore. State officials have nobody to answer to or even face investigation by. The AST are perfectly toothless in the race of corruption. If a grand jury handed down this indictment, let Murphy face trial like everybody else.

    • Repeal the 17th: Never minding that it was that very same ‘poor prosecutor’ who brought the case to the grand jury in the first place….

  2. Just more simpleton baloney where regular people get put in jail at the same time that the biden crime family walks free.

  3. Repeal, be brave enough to identify your self. The way you comment on most everything, you don’t know what side of the ax to grind on, maybe we can size you up when you come out from behind the shadows!

  4. You gotta be kiddin’ me!!! A judge committing perjury? Come on man!!! What a dumb accusation. Gotta be a democrat judge.

    • Ken D even a Cop can be corrupted , every day around America some Cop / Trooper is willfully violating’s a citizens rights! Wake up Mister NO ONE is without question & some of us average people needs to call question on authority to keep them honest. What world have you lived in?

    • I know nothing about trooper Gibbens but I’ve met several decent troopers and several sleazy ones. That said, I have done my research on Mr. Haeg, read the court documents and tape recording transcripts involved with the case. As a result I have no doubt that he was thrown under the bus by the State, then governor Frank Murkowski, and former state prosecutor Andrew Peterson. As a reward for his misconduct, Andrew is now a superior court judge it seems.

  5. Corruption in our Alaska Judicial system and corrupt attorneys rivals our Federal Judicial system corruption!
    Banana Republic both on a Federal and State level!

  6. Wow, Haeg is finally getting some justice! It has been a not so well kept secret that Alaska’s judiciary is corrupted! Get rid of the Alaska Judicial Council & start cleaning it up.

  7. This sounds like a crock. I once saw Governor Sean Parnell being chauffeured around by troopers. Maybe he was asking them about stuff. I don’t think it’s unusual for a judge to have protection. If they wanted to talk about a case, aren’t there many ways for them to do that? Sounds like this guy is trying to seek vengeance.

    • Not quite the same Gregory.

      Gov Parnell being chauffeured around by Troopers is not the same as having the prosecution’s chief witness chauffeuring the presiding Judge around.

      Any other Trooper, this wouldn’t be an issue. Even if they did nothing wrong, the optics of this do not look good

      • No I understand completely. You talking about a judge and a State trooper. Two of the most professional people in court systems. To refer to them as being dishonorable is criminal in my mind. But that’s what we do on here isn’t it? Give our opinion. I listen to yours you listen to mine you call me a freaking idiot and I try to get you back on track. That sort of thing.

  8. A person tasked with upholding and applying the law is held to a higher standard. If you know the law then why are you breaking it? Whether perjury was committed or not, the judge AND the trooper both know that it looks bad for them to be together in private, during the trial. Any other vets here? Remember that we were always told it’s not the ‘fraternization’ it’s the ‘appearance of fraternization’ that gets you into trouble.

  9. I’m not seeing a charge of driving around with a witness. I am seeing a charge of perjury.

    If, and this is a big if, she hung out with a witness (trooper) that is grounds for some kind of limited disciplinary action. However, if she lied under oath it’s is a whole different mess.

    There is a lot of smoke re: impropriety of Alaskan Judges. If this turns out to be something real we may find a fire that requires a major response to deal with.

    On the other hand, if this turns out to be a case of a peeved defendant conjuring up an unsupported charge we will see all of this effort to reign in the Judiciary dismissed as coo-coo conspiracy theory and any chance of real reform will be gone for at least a decade.

    High stakes Mr. Haeg. I hope you have thought this through.

    • I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. Prudists might want to slap her on the wrist for some sort of malicious behavior s, but there is no proof mind you. None at all.

      • Wow! You must have been on the Grand Jury and know what’s contained in the sealed indictment. You seem so knowledgeable about the facts of the case. Cool! Enlighten us.

  10. This State is unbelievably corrupt. It doesn’t surprise me to see a Judge involved in shady conduct. I support David Haeg and his efforts to expose corruption in this State.

  11. I e heard and read about this case for years. I remain hopeful that David Haeg gets the justice and satisfaction he deserves.

  12. An upset party wastes State resources on petty grievances, sounds like the State Republican Party apparatus led by the Governor.

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