COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - More than five months ago, on a quiet October night, violence erupted inside the Colorado Springs home of Vinnie and Melissa Murphy.
More than 150 days have passed since Vinnie Murphy was stabbed and the couple’s two children killed, with their 20-year-old son, Malik, arrested and charged with the attack.
KRDO Newschannel 13’s Shannon Brinias sat down with the Murphy family recently. They say every day is consumed with trying to come to terms with what happened.
“It's like we were so broken, and for what," Melissa Murphy said. She added, “It shook us to our core so much that initially we weren't sure what was real and what wasn't real."
The family’s days are marked now by how quiet their home has become, after the voices of the 7-year-old Noah and 5-year-old Sophia were silenced forever. The children had shared a room with the brother who’s now accused of their murders.
Their father, who was recovering from his own neck injury even while mourning the loss of his youngsters, describes the pain of those memories and how it’s different for each member of the family. "Us hearing Noah and Sophia is anywhere and anytime, our trauma is all unique and yet equally painful, " Vinnie Murphy said.
In the early hours of October 17th, police say Malik Murphy began stabbing his siblings first. The couple described how Sophia’s screams awakened them.
Vinnie Murphy was attacked as he went to investigate and was able to subdue his son. His wife rushed to his aid, and then discovered the bodies of her two youngest children. Their other two children were unharmed.
The family moved immediately from the home, partly to escape the memories and partly to give access to police detectives. They moved into a new apartment, paid for through donated funds. Still, that created unanticipated hardships. Melissa said, "Some mothers, I quietly envy that they're able to leave their bedrooms exactly the way their children left them, and they can go there. We were not afforded that, our home was a crime scene and we had to leave."
Although Melissa has visited their jailed son, who admitted the crime to police, Malik Murphy has never expressed remorse to his parents; they say that’s on advice of his lawyers.
Murphy’s defense is expected to include information from his history of mental health treatment. The Murphy parents believe the attack was the work of a dark force, derived from Malik saying he didn’t believe in God anymore.
Melissa Murphy said, "Malik knows right from wrong. This evilness got the better of Malik. Malik had spent four years quiet from God.” Her husband continued, “His life changed and I don't think it's coincidence, his life, his being, and his circumstances clearly changed after that."
The couple’s faith has been tested as they struggle to cope with the multitude of emotions. In the meantime, they also have more basic struggles. Vinnie Murphy, who once worked in the hospitality industry, has struggled to find employment again. For now, the lease on their new home is paid for the next few months. They trust in God to provide after that runs out, and they pray to God to provide guidance in moving forward.
Vinnie Murphy said of Malik’s upcoming trial, "There's no time and no death penalty, nothing that could equal justice in this." His wife described the search for forgiveness. “Forgiveness by the world's standards and by God's standards are two different things,” Melissa Murphy said.
The family’s church community has set up a site to help with the Murphy family’s needs.
Malik Murphy will be back in El Paso County Court for an arraignment on April 9th.