Boyfriend Goes Ballistic

Gerald Tyrone Murphy lost it (courtesy of Mel Evans/AP)

Friday afternoon, police in Trenton, New Jersey responded to a call from a concerned family member of Carmelita Stevens. They had not seen or heard from Stevens in several weeks and also knew two of her daughters had missed the last few weeks of school.

That was good enough for the cops, who arrived at Stevens’ home a short time later.

Officers knocked on the front door repeatedly, but there was no response. Since someone’s life could be in danger, they forced their way inside and were immediately met with an unmistakable odor.

The house smelled like death.

As police made their way through the home—one filled with maggots, no less—they heard a male voice upstairs and engaged the man in conversation. The voice belonged to Stevens’ boyfriend, Gerald Tyrone Murphy, who told the officers he was armed with guns and explosives and had several hostages.

Murphy also informed police that there were two dead bodies in the house: one in the rear bedroom and another in the room where he was barricaded.

In the room with Murphy were three of Stevens’ children: a 4-year-old boy and two girls aged 16 and 18—police would later find her 19-year-old son hiding in the basement.

Hostage negotiators were brought in and authorities even sent food, water and other supplies to Murphy and the kids through an upstairs window. Aside from caring for the children, though, these efforts served another purpose: they allowed police to strike at just the right moment.

That moment came around 3:45 Sunday morning. Police entered the upstairs room, confronted Murphy and eventually shot him. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and died of his injuries a short time later.

New Jersey hostage

A standoff for 37 hours? Dang (courtesy of Reuters)

Inside the house, police discovered the bodies of Stevens and her 13-year-old son, both of whom had been dead for several weeks. The four surviving children were taken to a medical center for evaluation since the two teenage girls may have been abused and assaulted during their captivity. According to the most recent reports, though, Stevens’ 19-year-old son has already been released and is staying with family.

It should come as no surprise that police later discovered an outstanding warrant for Murphy’s arrest in Pennsylvania—for failure to register as a sex offender!

Who would have guessed?

What’s more, Murphy had a long and sorted criminal record that included such hits as aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy, weapons violations and another potential “red flag” for any mother, child endangerment.

In other words, Murphy probably wasn’t the kind of guy a mother of five like Carmelita Stevens should have dated. The unfortunate thing is that her own story—and its tragic consequences—now help prove this to be true.

Posted on May 12, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very sad, it is unfortunate that her kids will now have to grow up with such a tragedy in their lives. It happens all to often when offenders drop off the radar and relocate themselves that it takes time to track them down or connect the dots so to speak so the police in their new area of operation to become aware of who they are and what they’ve done. The other sad part about this is that although he had an outstanding warrant, extradition limits probably would have prevented local police from serving it or act upon it other than forcing him to register.

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