After a 37-hour standoff, police in Trenton, N.J. shot and killed registered sex offender Gerald “Skip” Tyrone Murphy, 38, on Sunday May 12, 2013, after he held his girlfriend’s three children hostage for three days.
Murphy killed 44-year-old Carmelita Stevens, the children’s mother, and her 13-year-old son. Police found their bodies in separate bedrooms. According to an article on Dailymail.co.uk, Stevens’ body was in an advanced state of decomposition leading police to believe she and her son could have been killed two weeks ago.
Murphy, who wasn’t the father of any of her children, and Stevens had only been dating for a few months, yet both lived in the house where this all took place.
According to the article, a relative of Stevens’ called police worried after she hadn’t talked to her in weeks. Police then learned her children hadn’t been to school in 12 days, which led them to the home.
The three-day standoff began at 3:00pm Friday afternoon and didn’t end until around 3:45am Sunday. Friday, according to the article, police smelled an odor consistent with a decomposing body after entering into the home through a rear door. They also said maggots were throughout the residence.
Police found Murphy in an upstairs 10-foot-by-11-foot bedroom, but had to back off when he told them he was armed with a gun and explosives and had three children with him: two teen girls and a 4-year-old boy.
The story said the officers noticed one of the dead victims before retreating from the second floor and rescuing Stevens’ 19-year-old son from the basement. Her son told them he hadn’t seen his mother or his siblings since about April 24.
Police kept in contact with Murphy throughout the standoff, passing food into the home through an upstairs window, the article said.
On Sunday, police re-entered the home where an officer shot Murphy because, the police said, he was threatening one of the children. Murphy had also assaulted and abused the children.
Sistas, the story went on to say Murphy had a long criminal history:
• convictions for aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy
• arrested for robbery and weapons offenses and child endangerment
• warrant out for his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania
Ladies, we must do a better job of being selective about the men we bring into our lives, and especially around our children. This is an awful and unfortunate story, but hopefully it will serve as a “wake up” call for black women. I don’t know Carmelita’s story, but let’s stop picking up any and every random guy (or ones we hardly know) just to say we have one. It’ not worth it.
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: