Magic Valley Man Charged for Murder of Wife
BURELEY, Idaho (KLIX)-A 32-year-old Mini-Cassia area man has been arrested in connection to the the 2014 murder of his wife near Raft River.
Jim Lee Murphy was arrested and charged March 3, for the first degree murder of Whitney Murphy. According to court documents, Whitney had been found shot to death with a shotgun on October 26, 2014 at a rural home located east of Burley off Interstate 84. Cassia County Sheriff's deputies had been called to the scene after a neighbor had been hit by shotshell while in their basement. When deputies arrived they found Murphy dead next door in what looked like a botched robbery. The murder weapon was never found.
When deputies interview Jim Murphy in 2014 he had claimed to have been away working when his wife was shot. Investigators at the time felt his alibi was weak. It was also learned that Mr. Murphy had taken out a $650,000 life insurance policy on Whitney several weeks before she died. However, the insurer refused to grant a claim when Mr. Murphy tried to use the money to pay for Whitney's funeral.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation agreed to assist with the investigation and on January 28, 2021 interview Mr. Murphy about the day his wife was murdered. The FBI presented their findings to the Cassia County Sheriff's Office which made it clear that Murphy did not have a viable alibi that explained where he was when Whitney had been shot.
The FBI attempted to meet with Murphy again in February and early March, but were unable to make contact with him. Meanwhile the Cassia and Minidoka county sheriffs followed Murphy and noticed him putting a van together to live in. It was decided that Murphy would be arrested out of concern he would leave the area. On March 3, deputies went to arrest Murphy in Minidoka County. When deputies approached him, Murphy allegedly ran. Law enforcement had to tackle him and use a taser to subdue him.