LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — A suspect in the murder of a 77-year-old man was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in California, FOX31 sources have confirmed.
On Monday, the Louisville Police Department asked the public for help finding Brian Murray, 40, who was wanted on two outstanding warrants: failure to appear, after being released on a personal recognizance bond on Nov. 17, and a new charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender. LPD said he was armed and dangerous and believed to be in the Denver area.
It was confirmed by sources on Tuesday that Murray is a suspect in the murder of 77-year-old William Hoebel who was killed on Nov. 18 in his Cheesman Park home.
FBI agents took Murray into custody without incident on Tuesday.
Experts weigh in on how this happened
The victim’s wife told FOX31’s Deborah Takahara that William “Stu” Hoebel was a kind, loving, generous man. She wants to thank the community for their outpouring of support during this tragic time.
Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty stated, “Brian Murray is an absolute danger to our community and a serious flight risk. Over the past week, the Louisville Police Department has been working incredibly hard to deal with the risks to public safety presented by this man – with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office. As we have argued from the start, this defendant should not be released into the community.”
Legal analyst Phil Harding said, “Someone needs to highly scrutinize what’s going on. Who’s the individual? Are they a flight risk? What kinds of crimes have they committed in the past? We’ve got the 8th Amendment that says there’s going to be no excessive bail. So we want to make sure not just rich people can get out before trials and be free until that time, but we need to highly scrutinize who we are giving PR bonds to.”
Events leading up to Murray’s arrest, bond out
Murray was taken into custody on Nov. 14 after calling in threats to Boulder County Communications, LPD said. He told dispatchers that he spent years in prison, had a gun and wanted police to shoot him. He also guaranteed he would be dead either by his own hands or by police.
LPD located him at a Quality Inn Hotel and took him into custody without incident.
In the arrest report provided by LPD, Murray told an officer he had spent years at Iowa State Penitentiary and was transferred to the federal prison in Florence, Colo. after he paralyzed someone in state prison.
The responding officer decided to take Murray to a Longmont hospital to have him put on a mental health hold, the report said. While on the way to the hospital, Murray became anxious and asked the officer if he could take him to jail instead.
Murray was admitted to the emergency room of the hospital but was not there for long, the report said. The ER nurse told police that Murray did not have drugs or alcohol in his system, and a social worker was not available to conduct a mental evaluation.
The report states, “the doctor and attending nurses stated that while Brian had not been evaluated, that they did not view him as a threat to himself; that the hospital did not have the staffing to physically control Brian based upon his size and anger; and that when Brian stated that he was leaving, that they gave him his property and let him walk out.”
On Nov. 15, the LPD officer submitted a request for a court-ordered mental health order evaluation for Murray. The arrest report said the petition was approved on Nov. 16 and the authorization was put out to take Murray into custody to complete a mental health evaluation.
Murray called LPD asking about his warrant status on Nov. 16 and brought himself to the precinct where he was taken into custody, put in hand and ankle cuffs and taken to Avista Hospital, the report said.
While at the hospital, Murray told officers about a gun he was given by another guest at the Quality Inn but he tossed it and told officers where to find it.
An affidavit for an arrest warrant said, “based on the criminal conduct and circumstances of Brian’s repeated calls to 911, providing false information, and due to the threats made to himself and the safety of officers and the community,” Murray was booked into the Boulder County Jail on charges of attempt to influence a public servant and obstructing government operations.
A search was conducted on Nov. 17 in the area Murray told police the gun was located and it was retrieved. Shortly after the gun was found, police went to arrest Murray on additional charges but he had been released on a PR bond.
The affidavit said, “Brian is considered a significant danger to the community based on the pending case, his threatening and escalating behavior, his access and possession of a firearm, and his extensive criminal history. In his calls to dispatch, Brian indicated he was ready to go back to prison.”
His location was unknown until he was arrested in California on Tuesday.