Johnnie L. Murphy.

DECATUR — Johnnie L. Murphy changed his mind Tuesday at the start of his trial on a charge of attempted first degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison after switching to a guilty plea.

Murphy, 42, announced his change of heart in Macon County Circuit Court in the wake of a plea deal negotiated by his attorney, Michelle Sanders. The deal included deletion of a firearm enhancement attached to the attempted murder charge which would have mandated another 25 years on Murphy’s sentence.

Additional charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a weapon and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon were dismissed.

Decatur Police reports said the case dates back to May 24, 2018, when Murphy and another man, Selley X. Tullison, were accused of pulling up in a car driven by Murphy in the 1100 block of East Main Street before both men opened fire.

What the men were shooting at wasn’t disclosed in the reports, but one woman was hit in the left knee and recognized Murphy as one of the shooters. Murphy was also hit in the neck in an apparent exchange of gunfire and was treated in a hospital.

Judge Thomas Griffith told Murphy he would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. Tullison, who is pleading not guilty to charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a weapon, is due for a pretrial hearing July 8.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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