Judge rejects bail again for sexual assault defendant

FRONT ROYAL – The case against accused rapist Darrin William Murphy was put on hold Wednesday until late October after a judge agreed to a request by the prosecution for more time to review possible evidence against the defendant.

Murphy, who appeared in Warren County General District Court with attorney John Bell, was returned to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail after Judge W. Dale Houff rejected a request for affordable bail.

Murphy, 47, of Linden, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on single counts of rape and forcible sodomy and two counts of sexual battery, charges stemming from accusations by two women who lived with him at his residence.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton asked for a postponement while he studies data obtained from computers used by Murphy. Houff agreed to reschedule the preliminary hearing until 2:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

The women say Murphy subjected them repeatedly to unwanted sexual contact after they moved into his residence earlier this year. Both have obtained protective orders against Murphy.

One woman said in court documents that Murphy introduced himself to her when she was looking on Craigslist for a room to rent. After moving in, she said, Murphy sexually abused her for months.

The second woman wrote in an affidavit that Murphy called her and offered a place to stay for her and her children.

Bell reiterated arguments made at an earlier hearing that Murphy’s close ties to the community make him a good candidate for bail. Bell said one of the women had already moved out of Murphy’s residence, which he shares with his wife and in-laws. The second woman is planning to move out within days, Bell said.

Bell said Murphy, if released on bail, would stay with the defendant’s in-laws.

But Houff, for the second time in two weeks, agreed with Layton’s argument that Murphy’s long criminal record, which includes several instances of failing to appear for court dates, showed the defendant should remain behind bars.

“I don’t think I can in good conscience release him given the nature of the charges,” Houff said Murphy.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com