New Orleans Hotel Guests Heard Man and Woman 'Struggle' Hours Before Jeweler's Stabbed Body Was Found, Police Say

The bickering between two hotel guests was swelling.

Two witnesses within earshot of the feud claimed they heard "a male and female arguing very loudly" inside their hotel room on the predawn morning of February 28.

Then they said the yelling ebbed and turned physical.

Whoever was inside Room 110 started "struggling inside the room and the female yelled, 'Get in the bathroom,'" according to an affidavit obtained by Newsweek.

On Monday, 25-year-old Magen Hall was charged with second-degree murder after the body of Pennsylvania jeweler Patrick Murphy was found lifeless by Empress Hotel staffers just before noon of that day, the court document states.

A New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) homicide detective determined the 62-year-old "died from multiple stab wounds sustained" inside the hotel room.

magen_hall_mug
Magen Hall, 25, was been charged with second-degree murder after the body of beloved Pennsylvania jeweler Patrick Murphy was found lifeless by Empress Hotel staffers just before Noon of that day, according to court documents. Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office

Murphy was the owner of the family-owned Murphy Jewelers which was established back in 1913 by his clock-fixing optometrist grandfather.

"The family is still grieving," Christine Logothetides, who manages the original Pottsville store, told Newsweek. "He was a great husband, a great father, great business owner, a great boss and a great member of his community."

She noted that Murphy took a pre-Mardi Gras jaunt down south to New Orleans with his wife Kim, with whom he had two children.

"He went there with his wife," she stressed. "It's not what everybody was thinking was going on."

The affidavit filed in the Parish of Orleans court suggests something more sordid occurred.

Murphy and a "white female"—later identified by cops as Magen Hall—arrived together in the early hours of that Thursday morning to check into a New Orleans hotel (known online as a "Euro-style economy hotel" with rooms fetching rates starting from "$39 and up."

Empress Hotel
Jeweler Patrick Murphy, 62, arrived in the wee hours of the morning to check into the New Orleans-based Empress Hotel (known online as a "Euro-style economy hotel" with rooms starting from "$39 and up." He was found hours later stabbed to death. Google Maps

An Empress Hotel clerk refused to comment when reached by Newsweek.

Less than two hours later, the document adds, only the woman that rented the room was seen alive and marching out the door.

The hotel desk clerk working that predawn shift, the document reads, confirmed Room 110 was rented to "Megan Hall" and recorded her Tennessee identification card at around 2 a.m.

The affidavit alleges there was no other person with Murphy during the entire time since he checked in and therefore concluded, "the victim could not have received fatal stab wounds from any subject other than the white female he entered the hotel room with."

In the wake of the homicide, the detective pored over footage allegedly capturing a woman found "briskly walking out the front door of the Empress Hotel" at around 3:45 a.m.

Just before noon, workers made a grisly discovery when they entered the room.

On Sunday, Hall, flanked by her attorney, surrendered to New Orleans Police. She appeared before a magistrate commissioner who set $750,000 bail, jail records show.

Newsweek's attempts to reach her attorney or numerous relatives were unsuccessful.

Hall, whose first name is often misspelled as "Megan" was busted for prostitution in an undated New Orleans French Quarter incident report, the police confirmed in the affidavit.

The detective used the arrest details and her birthdate to verify Hall's identity.

Hall appears to have racked up prostitution priors in Texas and earlier in Tennessee, records show.

Initially, police were onto Hall merely as a "person of interest" for Murphy's death which was ultimately classified as a "homicide by cutting," according to an NOPD police release.

That changed almost instantly after the homicide "investigation progressed" and detectives "positively identified Hall as the perpetrator in this incident."

Megan Hall is considered a person of interest in the investigation of a homicide that occurred today in the 1300 block...

Posted by New Orleans Police Department on Thursday, February 28, 2019

What's more, there was little doubt that Hall was the only person who entered the room other than Murphy.

The affidavit notes, "the detectives identified Magen Hall as the white female who entered the hotel room with the victim."

magen_hall_beads
The affidavit notes, "the detectives identified Magen Hall," seen here wearing an assortment of traditional Mardi Gras beads, "as the white female who entered the hotel room with the victim." New Orleans Police Department

Logothetides said that Murphy was a "great man" who was "always smiling."

"Ear to ear," she said.

And he cared about his employees. "This place and the other stores is really like family."

Moving forward is going to be tough. "We want to lay him to rest and he's not even home yet," Logothetides said.

But, she added, his untimely demise shouldn't tarnish his legacy.

"Patrick was such a giver," she said. "He was just bigger than this."

New Orleans Hotel Guests Heard Man and Woman 'Struggle' Hours Before Jeweler's Stabbed Body Was Found, Police Say | U.S.