Wash. man found not guilty by reason of insanity for wife’s fatal stabbing as part of ‘prophecy’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun9,2024

VANCOUVER, Wash. (TCD) — A man will likely spend the rest of his life in a state-run mental hospital for fatally stabbing his wife in 2021 in order to “fulfill a prophecy.”

Clark County court records show Michael Murrah was found not guilty by reason of insanity for killing his wife Monica Murrah, who also went by the name Star. The Columbian reports a judge subsequently required Murrah be sent to Western State Hospital and not to have any contact with Star Murrah’s family, including their son. If he got convicted, he could have been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Judge Suzan Clark said, “It’s not a popular decision. Star Murrah lost her life, and I’m sure many of you will feel this is not justice. But, sometimes, the job I have is not to make the most popular decision but to make a decision on the basis of the law.”

On Nov. 7, 2021, Murrah reportedly went to his estranged wife’s home and attacked her while their 8-year-old son was also in the house. According to KOIN-TV, Vancouver Police Department officers responded to her residence and found Michael Murrah standing outside with a knife.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated first-degree murder.

KOIN reports three experts testified about Murrah’s mental state, and they all confirmed he was experiencing psychosis. However, they did not reach a consensus on his actual diagnosis.

Court records cited by KOIN say Murrah “admitted he stabbed someone who he identified as ‘Starbeast,'” and that he did it “to fulfill a prophecy.”

Star Murrah filed for divorce in August 2020. Around the same time, KOIN reports Murrah went to therapy for “hallucinations, hearing voices, psychosis, and religious delusions.”

A month before she filed for divorce, Star Murrah reportedly attempted to get a restraining order against him. According to KOIN, she noted in the petition for the restraining order, “Michael has threatened suicide during arguments. One time he even grabbed a large knife and sat outside our bedroom threatening to kill himself. I’m terrified if he does, what if he kills me and our son also.”

The court denied her petition for a protective order because there was reportedly not substantial evidence of domestic violence.

The Columbian reports Star Murrah’s sister told Murrah in court, “The pain you caused our family will never subside. We will always be here to remind you of the pain you caused. You will never have peace, just as you tried to take our peace away.”

The founder of the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation, Michelle Bart, spoke after the court decision and alluded to the protective order that was denied.

She said, “If we don’t use the tools that we have put into place, what good are they? Our tax dollars pay for that stuff, and if they’re not being used to save a life, why are we doing this? Why are we here?”

Bart continued, “This family has had to fight almost three years of this because somebody in this building did not listen to a victim of domestic violence that asked for help. That is why we’re here today.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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