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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Suspect arrested in Colbert triple homicide

The son-in-law of one of the three people shot to death before fire was set to their Colbert home and barn was arrested Saturday afternoon on three counts of first-degree murder, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said.

Roy H. Murry, of Lewiston, was taken into custody after he appeared voluntarily at the Public Safety Building and was interviewed by detectives, Knezovich said.

Terry Canfield, 59; his wife, Lisa M. Canfield, 52; and Lisa Canfield’s son, John Robert Constable, 23, died from gunshot wounds before fire was reported at 2:08 a.m. Tuesday by a neighbor.

Murry, 30, is married to Lisa Canfield’s daughter, Mandy Murry, and is a decorated Iraq War veteran

He made headlines in 2011 when the Spokane County Republican Party named him one of three nominees to fill a state Senate seat, despite a lack of political experience and a recent brush with the law. He had forfeited bail a year earlier on a District Court charge of possessing an illegal switchblade knife. County commissioners did not select him for the position.

Terry Canfield’s body was found in a small barn behind the home, at 20 E. Chattaroy Road, which was destroyed by fire. Canfield was a lieutenant in the Spokane Fire Department.

The other two bodies were found inside the house.

Knezovich said investigators believe that Murry may have been waiting for Mandy Murry to show up at her mother’s home.

Mandy Murry had recently moved in with her mother, said Merrily Lowry, a neighbor who attended church with the family.

Knezovich said the Murrys had been experiencing marital problems.

“It is our belief that he was up there waiting for her,” Knezovich said.

Terry and Lisa Canfield belonged to the nearby Chattaroy Community Church. Mandy Murry had gone to services with them recently, Lowry said.

Knezovich said investigators have been working long hours since the crimes to identify and apprehend the killer. He said his major crimes detectives had been working “very diligently.”

Detectives earlier last week went to Pullman and Lewiston and made contact with Murry. They asked him to travel to Spokane for a second interview because of questions that arose from his first statements, Knezovich said.

The sheriff said Murry was identified as a possible suspect early in the investigation.

Investigators still are sifting through debris at the crime scene and are expected to seek as many as five additional search warrants. Arson charges are possible in the case, the sheriff said.

Knezovich said a handgun with the same caliber as the weapon used in the killings was seized in a search of Murry’s vehicle, a 2010 Dodge Caliber with Idaho plate number N184600.

Investigators have said two separate fires appeared to have been set – one in the home and another in the barn where Terry Canfield’s body was found.

Detectives are asking the public for any information about Murry’s activities in the past 10 days. Witnesses are asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

“Any information you can give us will help,” Knezovich said in placing his request for witness information.

In 2011, the Spokane County Republican Party picked Murry to be one of three candidates that county commissioners could consider to replace state Sen. Bob McCaslin after McCaslin resigned for health reasons. Murry was operating a security business at the time, according to a news account.

Commissioners chose Jeff Baxter for the seat over Murry and state Rep. Matt Shea. As the nomination went forward, Murry acknowledged that he was selected as a choice in an unsuccessful scheme by party officials to force county commissioners’ hand into choosing Shea.

“We circumvented the voters,” as well as precinct committee officers, Murry said at the time. “Before it goes any further, we might as well come clean.”

But Murry pushed through the nomination process and impressed county commissioners in his interview, though none voted for him. Commissioner Mark Richard choked with emotion at the time when he said Murry didn’t deserve “what you have been put through from both sides of this.” Richard declared that anyone who thought Murry was unqualified for the nomination hadn’t met him.

Murry earned a Bronze Star for valor as an Army National Guard sergeant in Iraq. Murry was severely injured by a bomb in Iraq. He said at the time of the nomination that he had begun carrying a pistol almost everywhere he went.

When he was up for consideration for the Senate seat, Murry’s commander, Lt. Col. Thomas Heslin Jr., told commissioners in a letter that Murry, despite being wounded, returned fire in a “complex ambush” and played a “critical” role in the safe escape of a “VIP” Murry’s unit was protecting.

Just days after Murry was nominated as a candidate to replace McCaslin, however, he was arrested in Las Vegas on a firearms charge.

Police said his car was parked on the side of a road at a strange angle with its motor running. Officers said they saw tobacco juice drooling from Murry’s mouth and body armor in the car, and had trouble waking him up.

Officers asked Murry if he had any firearms; he replied he did in the trunk. When police ordered him out of the car and patted him down, they found a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband, covered by his coat. He also had two knives, two ammunition clips and some loose rounds in his pocket.

He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon – as well as sleeping in public.

Later, he said in a news interview that he didn’t dispute that he was asleep in the car. He said he had gone out to fill a prescription for his fiancée, who was not named in a news story on the arrest.

Not long after the Senate selection process was over, Murry was arrested after he allegedly carried a loaded gun into the veterans hospital in Walla Walla.

Murry told his doctor during an examination in April 2011 that he carries a firearm “24/7,” according to a report filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane. Hospital staff observed a “bulge” on Murry’s back right side and contacted hospital police.

Police at the time said his 9mm Beretta was loaded with a round in the chamber and Murry also had a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.

A grand jury indicted Murry on misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm in a federal facility and possession of a dangerous weapon in a federal facility. Court records indicate that he entered a diversion program in which he agreed to pay $500, perform 100 hours of community service, relinquish any permit that allowed him to carry concealed weapons for two years and complete a firearms safety course. If he complied, the court agreed not to pursue prosecution. In 2014, a judge ruled he complied with the agreement.

Murry’s online LinkedIn profile says he served in the Army from 2002 until 2007 and attained the rank of sergeant. It also says that from 2010 until 2013 he was the “chief acquisitions officer” of Patriot Enterprises LLC, which he said did research and development for manufacturing of “machined parts to serve the firearms industry.”

Patriot Enterprises is a registered corporation in Washington. Murry is listed as the only governing member. It is no longer active, state records show.

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