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Appeals court upholds stalker’s prison sentence

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a 27-year prison sentence for probation violations by a man convicted of stalking judges and lawyers in the St. Paul area.

The ruling says John Patrick Murphy clearly understood that he risked a long prison sentence if he violated the conditions of his probation, a message that was repeated by a probation officer.

Back in 1994, Murphy was sentenced to eight years in prison and nearly 40 years of probation for harassment such as leaving dead animals at his victims’ houses, puncturing tires and throwing objects through windows.

Murphy served four years and was released, but he went back to prison for probation violations. He got out again and then broke the rules when he did not tell his probation officer about several arrests. He also failed to contact the agent when he was mistakenly released from jail.

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His probation was revoked, and he was sentenced to prison time. Even then, the court transcript showed that he threatened to puncture the judge’s tires.

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