Halloween Trial For Judge Accused In Bribery

Las Cruces – A trial is scheduled for late October for a Las Cruces judge charged with bribery in an alleged pay-to-play scheme for judicial appointments.

Jury selection is to begin Oct. 31 in the case against state District Court Judge Michael Murphy. A scheduling order was filed in the case earlier this week.

Murphy pleaded not guilty in May to felony charges, including bribery and intimidation of a witness.

According to a report by prosecution investigators, Murphy told a Las Cruces lawyer in 2007 that she needed to make weekly payments in the form of campaign contributions and deliver them to a local political figure to get a district court appointment by then Gov. Bill Richardson.

Richardson has denied that campaign contributions influenced his judicial appointments.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.