LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The man accused of stabbing three fellow homeless men in Manhattan, one of them fatally, was ordered held without bail during a court appearance on Thursday, as prosecutors detailed “a heinous and chilling pattern of violent crimes.”
Now formally charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder, Trevon Murphy, 40, was remanded following an arraignment in which authorities characterized him as a flight risk and revealed disturbing details of his alleged actions.
“The defendant stands before this Court charged with a heinous and chilling pattern of violent crimes,” said prosecutors in arguing for remand. “He targeted vulnerable, defenseless, unhoused victims — all of whom were asleep and had their backs to the defendant. These individuals, asleep and looking for respite in the only places they could find, were awoken violently when this defendant stabbed them all in the lower abdomen with a large, serrated scoring knife.”
Under law-enforcement questioning, Murphy allegedly made a “full confession,” and detailed how he specifically chose to buy that knife at a hardware store to inflict maximum damage to his victims.
According to prosecutors, Murphy allegedly said that he purchased the knife in question “because, as he described it, a knife with a flat edge would go in and out easily whereas this knife that he bought would drag pieces of intestine out with it.”
Murphy also allegedly said that he knifed each of the three sleeping victims in the lower abdomen because it was his “stabber’s choice,” prosecutors said.
Murphy allegedly struck three times beginning on July 5, when he’s accused of stabbing a man sleeping inside the West Village’s Hudson River Park around 3:10 a.m., according to authorities. That man, 34, died of his wounds shortly after he was admitted to an area hospital.
Around 10 p.m. July 8, Murphy allegedly stabbed a 59-year-old man asleep on a bench near East 49th Street and Madison Avenue in Midtown, according to officials. Then, around 3:30 a.m. Monday, he allegedly knifed a 28-year-old man sleeping on a basketball court inside Stanley Isaacs Playground near East 96th Street and First Avenue on the Upper East Side, authorities said. Those two men survived and were hospitalized in what police described as stable condition.
In each case, the assailant wore a black hoodie with the logo of the “Innocence Project” criminal justice reform group, distinct neon yellow sneakers, and a gray backpack, according to prosecutors. Murphy wore the same attire when a good Samaritan spotted him and alerted police early Wednesday morning, authorities said. He was also allegedly carrying the knife used in the attacks inside a pants pocket at the time of his arrest.
In making the case for remand, prosecutors pointed out that Murphy, himself homeless, has no fixed address, and no established ties to the New York area. They also noted that he was wanted in his native Tennessee for allegedly violating the terms of his probation, and has an open assault case in Queens. In the latter case, police have previously said, Murphy allegedly attacked a roommate at a homeless shelter while he was asleep.
Murphy, who faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life on the murder charge alone, is due back in court on Monday.