Source: Mega; Cassia County Sheriff

Mar. 8 2021, Published 5:01 p.m. ET

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Six years after a woman in Idaho was murdered, police say they arrested her husband as the suspect killer and he staged her death to look like a robbery. 

The suspect also took out a $650,000 life insurance policy on his wife weeks before her killing. 

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Jimmy Lee Murphy, 32, was charged with the first-degree murder of his wife Whitney Murphy, who was 26 years old when she died in 2014. He was arrested last week. Local and federal police spoke to Murphy in February about the case and put him under surveillance. 

Police say that he was planning to leave the area after making statements to officers about wanting to live a “van life,” the Idaho State Journal reported.


When officers arrived at the scene of the 2014 shooting, it looked like the home had been robbed and Whitney was killed when she saw the perpetrator, the Idaho State Journal reported. 

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Murphy told authorities he came home that night and found his wife murdered. He claimed he was washing his truck and checking sprinkler pivots because his boss had told him to water the farm. 

However, his boss denied asking him to do this, according to the police.

According to investigators, nothing was taken from the home, including a portable safe containing $30,000, as well as Whitney’s purse and guns, according to the Idaho State Journal. 

The only thing missing was Jimmy  Murphy’s shotgun, which was suspected as the murder weapon.

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The insurance company refused to pay the six-figure insurance claim and Murphy did not pay for his wife’s funeral, according to the East Idaho News.

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Murphy had gun residue on his hands, and he claimed it was because he was hunting. However, people who knew him said that he was not a hunter and did not have a hunting license.

Investigators recovered a text message that Jimmy Murphy sent to his wife. It told her to come “straight home” and that they were “going to have sex tonight,” according to the Idaho State Journal. 

Police allege that these texts were sent to lure her home to murder her.

Jimmy Murphy admitted to cheating on Whitney, saying they had been fighting, the Idaho State Journal reported. He also said he struggled with depression and suicide.

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Three years after her death, one of Whitney’s relatives confronted Jimmy Murphy at a local store and accused her of killing him, according to East Idaho News. 

He responded, saying, “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.”

Murphy fled when police tried to arrest him on Wednesday after police identified himself outside the home, according to the Idaho State Journal. Authorities ordered him to stop, tackled him and used a stun gun to subdue him just inside the doorway of his mobile home.


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