Friday, February 15, 2008

More information on the murder of Mike Murray...


There hasn't been any recent news on the Mike Murray murder by a drunk off-duty Czech policeman in the local English-language media, so I asked a Czech friend to review the information available on the web sites of the local Czech newspapers. Even at those sites there isn't any information from the last week or so, but she was able to find some things that were not reported in the local English media. Here are some of the items, and some of the information is contradictory:

- The Czech policeman is 26 years old and had worked in the traffic division of the Prague police for over a year.

- The Czech cop was very drunk, having a bllod alcohol content of .02 (in the States, .008 is generally the level for DUI purposes). Although the murder occured at 1:00 AM, he was not questioned by authorities until 7 PM, 19 hours later, because he needed to sober up.

- There is conflicting information about the size of the knife used by the cop in the murder. One account says it was a small knife and there is one quote "People go mushroom hunting with bigger knives" [note: mushroom hunting is very popular in the Czech Republic and is done by up to 70% of the population]. But the police report states that the knife used was a "big folding knife".

- Another conflict is whether anyone besides the cop and Mike were involved in the altercation. One report said that "several people" were involved in the arguement and that the EMT responders found various weapons lying on the ground when they arrived. However, this is not supported by a nearby security camera that filmed only two people.

- There is some confusion in the reporting abuot witnesses. One account mentions that statements were obtained from two witnesses and another mentions only that the police are trying to find a person who was walking their dog in the area.

- The reporting was consistent that the knife wounds to the chest struck the heart and that death was almost immediate. Mike was dead when the ambulance arrived and the wounds were of such an extent that they couldn't have saved him.

- The suspect is no longer with the police force, having been "let go". This equates to being fired and he is not on some form of administrative leave that I speculated about in aprevious post. The quick firing would point to strong evidence that this was not a killing in self defense.

- The city prosecutor had asked that the suspect be held in custody, but the court (in Prague district 9) did not agree and allowed him to be released.

- He faces charges of "Endangering health and causing death" which sounds to me a lot like manslaughter.

That's all I was able to get fromo the Czech press (thanks to my friend) and there didn't seem to be any new information from the past week. I will continue to keep my eyes open and will report any developments if I hear of them.

There is a web site that a Czech friend of Mike has set up. Here is the link. It is in Czech but there are a few photographs of Mike. The link also has a petition asking the court to revisit the decision to release the suspect pending trial. There is an English version that I have included below.

February 3, 2008
Petition
Friends and companions of Mike Murray, who was murdered by a drunk
member of Prague Metropolitan Police, hereby request, by means of this
email, that the superior authority of the judge, who released this
offender charged with murder from custody, immediately takes measures
for correction of this, in our views incorrect decision. It is hard to
believe that a man, who is supposed to protect lives and property of
others, committed such malicious act, and still, he is not treated as an
offender of a serious offense, and he is at large, permitted the
possibility of influencing the course of the investigation. In
principle, we do not agree with the decision, and we hereby demand an
immediate correction.


My condolences again to the family and friends of Mike.

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