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Philadelphia DAO Announces Conviction of Ronald Murphy for Murder, Related Charges in Shooting of Couple in 2019

PHILADELPHIA (February 28, 2022) — District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced the conviction and sentencing of Ronald Murphy (DOB: 6/30/1992) for Third Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, and related firearm charges in the double shooting of a couple in North Philadelphia in 2016.Amber Michael and her partner were celebrating their one-year anniversary at the Yolo Cafe (1625 Susquehanna Ave.) on September 5, 2016, when at approximately 12:30 a.m. Michael went across the street to order take-out food at a Chinese restaurant. Murphy, who was in the restaurant when Michael entered, began making inappropriate remarks to her. Upset, she asked her partner, who was waiting for her outside, to intervene. He promptly entered the store and, without speaking to the defendant, left the establishment with Michael. Murphy followed them and continued the altercation outside, where Murphy and the couple exchanged words at the intersection of Susquehanna Ave. and Chadwick Street.

According to surveillance video obtained by investigators from inside the Chinese restaurant, Murphy then began walking northbound towards Dauphin Street. The couple returned to the Yolo Cafe. Shortly after, however, Michael, who was still upset over the encounter, decided to go for a walk to calm down. She was joined by her partner as they walked up the 2200 block of Chadwick Street.The defendant, sitting on the steps of an abandoned house on Chadwick, spotted the couple and approached them again. Investigators believe that Murphy said additional words to Michael’s partner before producing a handgun and shooting him in the chest. As he lay prone on the ground, the defendant shot him nine more times, including one shot to the back of his head. Murphy proceeded to open fire on Michael next, fatally shooting her once in the back. Philadelphia Police eventually arrested Murphy in 2019.

“Amber was absolutely amazing, and I’m not just saying that as her mother, but as another human being,” said Tonya Johnson, Amber Michael’s mother. “She did nothing but work to improve her community. Every day of her life, she did nothing but try to be the best person she could be. I’m grateful to ADA Jeffrey Hojnowski, and the police detectives, who worked so hard on this case. Finally, we have to do better as a community. Because if we don’t, it could be you in this horrible position, and you don’t want to be in my position.”“I want to thank the Philadelphia Police Department Detective Francis Graf, who worked steadfastly on this case for years,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Hojnowski, the lead prosecutor assigned to Murphy’s case. “I also want to thank Amber’s mother, Tonya Johnson, who was there everyday during the trial and who was a really strong pillar for me trying this case, as well as her father.”

“ADA Hojnowski did a remarkable job building a case with very little community cooperation or forensics, which drives home the point that having increased forensic capabilities and additional witnesses would make strong cases like these even stronger,” said DA Krasner. “We’re grateful to ADA Hojnowski and the detectives who worked diligently to deliver Mr. Murphy to justice for the terrible harm he caused Amber Michael, her partner, and their loved ones.”Murphy was found guilty after a non-jury trial before the Hon. J. Scott O’Keefe of Third Degree Murder (F1), Attempted Murder (F1), Aggravated Assault (F1), VUFA–6105 (F1), 6106 (F3), 6108 (M1), Recklessly Endangering Another Person (M2), and Possession of an Instrument of Crime (M1). He received an aggregate sentence of 35-70 years of state incarceration on February 4, 2022.

Below are photos provided by the family of Amber Michael for use by the news media.

CONTACT:Dustin Slaughter, 215-686-8713, [email protected]

 

 

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.