The estranged wife of a military veteran accused of killing a Spokane firefighter and his family may have been saved by a late night at work.
Mandy Murry finished her shift as a nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and arrived home in the early morning hours May 26 to find firefighters battling two blazes. Investigators would later learn that Murry’s stepfather, Terrance Canfield, her mother, Lisa Canfield, and her brother John Constable were shot to death inside the home and barn at 20 E. Chattaroy Road. Lisa Canfield was apparently gagged before she died, according to court records.
Investigators arrested Roy Murry, Mandy Murry’s 30-year-old husband, this weekend on suspicion of killing the three. He could appear in court today.
Mandy Murry told police she spoke with her husband the afternoon of May 25 about a divorce, according to court documents filed Monday. She had been living with her mother and stepfather for several months while Roy Murry remained in Lewiston. Mandy Murry told police her husband “demonized” the members of her family and blamed them for their failing relationship, according to court documents.
She worked a late nursing shift at Sacred Heart, calling her mother around 7:30 that evening to tell her she’d be late. Mandy Murry did not tell her husband that she would be arriving later at the home than usual, according to court records.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said Saturday that investigators believe Roy Murry was waiting at the home for his wife to arrive.
Roy Murry called ‘a brilliant guy’
Roy Murry, who had a previous marriage in Walla Walla County end in divorce, is an unemployed veteran who receives military disability payments due to injuries sustained while stationed in Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star for valor. He received treatment for his injuries and became addicted to opiates, investigators said.
Former Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard said he had been in contact with Murry on several occasions in the years since Murry was floated as a state Senate candidate by the Spokane County Republican Party in 2011, a nomination that eventually went to Jeff Baxter.
Richard, who is now president of the Spokane Downtown Partnership, said news of Murry’s arrest was like a punch to the gut.
The two were Facebook friends, and Richard said Murry had asked him for a job at one point, but there were no positions available.
He called Murry “a brilliant guy,” though said his post-traumatic stress disorder from service in Iraq was apparent.
“He seemed he was uneasy, if not paranoid,” Richard said, describing Murry as someone who seemed to be “crying out for help.”
“My read is he was used as a pawn by the party,” Richard said. “I don’t know that he was qualified to be state senator.”
Murry was named as a nominee for the state Senate despite a lack of political experience and a recent brush with the law.
Neighbor told detectives she suspected Murry
A neighbor of the Canfields told police she was at the home before the fire was reported and everything “seemed fine.” She told investigators she suspected Roy Murry because he was “psycho,” according to court records.
Lindsay Campbell, a friend of twin brothers Ryan and John Constable, said the brothers thought Murry was not right for their sister. “You get a really weird vibe from him,” she said. Campbell has started a GoFundMe account to help the family with funeral expenses.
Roy Murry declined several interview requests from police before speaking with them late last week in Moscow, Idaho. Spokane County sheriff’s detectives noted wounds on Murry’s arms that looked like scratches, and what appeared to be “a sunburn or flash-burn” on his face, according to court records. He told police he had worked for the CIA and suspected Russian secret police of the murders.
Mandy Murry told investigators that Roy Murry owned several guns. She had taken one pistol from him when she moved in with her mother and stepfather; it was the only gun missing from the home after the fire, according to court documents.
Music video for ‘Gasolina’ posted to Facebook
Investigators also suspect Roy Murry returned to the crime scene late Thursday, when authorities saw a man in dark clothes walking inside the secured crime scene. A short chase followed, and the man slipped away. During that time, police in Lewiston checked Roy Murry’s apartment and his car was gone, according to court documents.
A search of that car after his arrest turned up a pistol without ammunition near bloodstains, according to court documents. The gun had a “threaded barrel,” indicating it could be outfitted with a silencer.
Police also noted strange Facebook messages posted to Roy Murry’s account the morning after the fire. One post included a music video for the 2004 song “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee, before details about the fire were released to the public. Fire investigators believe two fires were set, possibly using road flares. Gasoline was likely used as an accelerant, investigators said.
Lt. Terrance “Terry” Canfield was a 28-year veteran of the Spokane Fire Department.
Firefighter Lt. Bill Gonzalez was at District Court on Monday to watch Murry’s first appearance, but the appearance was postponed until today.
He said firefighters are waiting for the Canfields’ family members to arrange a service before making plans for a fire department service.
“Terry was just an all-around nice guy,” Gonzalez said. “He liked to take care of people.”
Murry has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement. He was indicted by a federal grand jury after carrying a loaded handgun into the VA hospital in Walla Walla in May 2011 and arrested in Las Vegas for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
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