Jedidiah Isaac Murphy, 48, was executed by lethal injection on 10 October 2023 in Huntsville, Texas for the abduction, murder, and robbery of an 80-year-old woman.
On Wednesday, 4 October 2000, at a shopping mall in Plano, Murphy, then 25, forced Bertie Cunningham at gunpoint into giving him a ride in her car. At some point, he forced her into the trunk of her car and shot her in the head. He then drove her car around and used her ATM card and credit cards to buy liquor and beer, among other things. He later picked up his niece and two of her male school-age friends. After dropping off his niece, he and the boys continued driving around. He ultimately bought both of them motorized scooters before taking them home. He subsequently removed Cunningham's body from the trunk and dumped it in a creek.
Murphy was arrested two days later. He admitted to the shooting and led police to the location of Cunningham's body. He wrote and signed a statement claiming that he accidentally shot her while forcing her into her trunk.
Murphy had convictions going back to 1994 for burglary of a habitation, burglary of a vehicle, possession of marijuana, and driving without a license. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was put on "shock probation" and released. Witnesses at his punishment hearing testified to other crimes he committed. Three women testified that he threatened or assaulted them with deadly weapons. Sherryl Wilhelm testified that Murphy carjacked and abducted her in 1997 and that she escaped by jumping out of her car on the highway. Police were unable to find the suspect, but she recognized him on television as a suspect in Cunningham's murder and subsequently identified him in a photo lineup.
Continued on Page 2