By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - Although there was a full moon lighting up the Mingo County skies last week, it could not be blamed for the strange behavior that led the Williamson Police Department to make two arrests; instead, suspected drug use was to blame.
According to Williamson Patrolmen J.D. Tincher and J.L. Marcum, the officers were conducting a road patrol on Vinson Street when they saw a red Honda Civic sitting in the middle of the road. After the patrolmen activated their lights and sirens, the driver slowly pulled to the side of the street, the officers said. Albert Homer Murphey, 29, of Delbarton,was found to be trembling and acting nervous, their report said, and when questioned about his actions, the driver said he was just “tired and sleepy.”
A three-part field sobriety test was administered, which Murphey was unable to successfully complete, the officers said. When asked if he had taken any prescription medication or used recreational drugs, Murphey allegedly admitted to ingesting Suboxone, prescription pain pills, and also said he had smoked crack cocaine.
After charging the defendant with obstructing traffic and DUI and placing him in the back of the police cruiser, the officers were dispatched to the Pizza Tyme Restaurant on Harvey Street for a disturbance call involving Murphey’s wife.
Upon the officers’ arrival, restaurant employees pointed out a female sitting in one of the booths who was displaying what was described as “dog-like” behavior, biting at her own skin as if attacking something that was crawling on her, and was digging at her skin with her fingernails hard enough to cause abrasions.
Stephanie Murphey, 26, also of Delbarton, was shaking and trembling and acted as if she was very agitated, the police report stated. When questioned about what she was doing, Stephanie Murphey said she had become “worried and upset when her husband had failed to return to the restaurant to pick her back up,” the officers said. The officers said they told her that her husband was in the back of the cruiser and was under arrest.
Stephanie Murphey continued to display abnormal behavior and was also asked to take a series of field sobriety tests, which she failed, according to the incident report. When questioned about drug use, the defendant allegedly admitted that she had taken Suboxone and a pain pill earlier that evening. Officers asked her if she was in possession of any prescription or street drugs, and she allegedly told them she had some inside her purse. A search of the handbag revealed two pills that were identified as Clonazepam and Citalepram, both controlled substances, the officers said. They said a “crack pipe” also was found during the search.
Stephanie Murphey was arrested and charged with public intoxication and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, police said.
Albert Murphey was taken to Williamson Memorial Hospital for blood and urine drug analysis and tested positive for high levels of cocaine and Opiates, officers said.
The couple was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome and were remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden, according to court records.