Man gets 36 days for beating girlfriend


A man accused of beating up his girlfriend and injuring her in a fit of jealousy last Dec. 27 pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday afternoon and was slapped with a 36-day prison term.

Tarell Darnell Murphy, 33, pleaded guilty to assault and battery (domestic violence) as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to six months in prison, all suspended except for 36 days.

Murphy was given credit for 36 days of time served. That means he is already out of jail.

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo placed Murphy on one year of probation and required him to pay $2,161 in restitution to the victim, $120 in probation fee, a $300 fine, and 25 in court costs.

He was also ordered to complete 50 hours of community service or pay the equivalent fine and complete counseling with the Community Guidance Center or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The remaining charge of disturbing the peace against Murphy was dropped.

According to assistant attorney general Jonathan Wilberscheid, Murphy strangled and choked his then-girlfriend at their house in central Garapan on Dec. 27, 2017.

When three police officers responded to the incident at 5:58am last Dec. 27, the victim was limping and had a swollen and bruised cheek and scratch marks on the neck.

She told police that she and Murphy got into an argument after she received picture messages from a co-worker on her cell phone.

She said Murphy sat on her back, placed her in a rear-naked chokehold, and pulled her head so far back that she thought her neck was going to snap.

She managed to run away and called her cousin for help.

The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated for injuries that included a sprained ankle, scratch marks/bruising from the left shoulder to her collarbone, swelling and bruising on the right arm, and slight bruising on the shoulder.

She said Murphy has been physically abusive since they got together in February 2017.

In April 2017, the U.S. Marshals arrested Murphy based on an indictment filed in South Carolina for false statement.

The U.S. District of Caroline issued an arrest warrant against Murphy on July 30, 2015 for failure to appear in court last July 21, 2015.

Last April, the U.S. District Court for the NMI ordered the transfer of Murphy to the District of South Carolina. Murphy agreed to the voluntary removal.

It’s not clear whether Murphy went to South Carolina then returned to Saipan.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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