AGT winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. arrested on domestic violence charge


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “America’s Got Talent” winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. allegedly sent a woman to the hospital with injuries to her head and face on Monday.

A verbal fight turned physical at Murphy’s home in the Whitman area, where he hit the woman with a golf club, according to a criminal complaint filed in Logan County Magistrate Court.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. sings the national anthem at Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s inauguaration in November 2011.
(AP file photo)

Murphy, the complaint states, also slapped the woman and slammed her head into a concrete sidewalk. Logan Regional Medical Center later treated the woman for swelling and bruising, according to the complaint.

Murphey’s manager, Burke Allen, emailed a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying Murphy was the one who was attacked.

In the prepared statement, Murphy said his girlfriend attacked him with a golf club and a knife.

“In defending myself, she obtained some bruises and swelling on her face,” he said. “I did not strike her.”

He said the argument started after his girlfriend “trashed the home” with help from her family and friends. According to Murphy’s statement, the woman has destroyed his property several times in the past.

“I was raised to respect women, and if not provoked and feeling I was in danger, I would never have defended myself in this manner,” he said.

Potting soil stained the woman’s clothes after the altercation. A West Virginia State Police trooper later found soil scattered throughout the lawn and sidewalk at Murphy’s home, according to the complaint. The trooper also found a golf club in Murphy’s living room, the complaint states.

He and the woman have a 6-month-old child, who was present during the incident, according to the complaint.

The singer was charged with domestic battery and domestic assault, both misdemeanors. Authorities booked him into Southwestern Regional Jail at 7:40 p.m. Monday, and he was released about an hour later on $3,500 bail.

Murphy, 42, is a Logan County native who became known globally for what one judge called a “million-dollar performance” that led him to win “America’s Got Talent” in 2011.

He went on to sing jazz standards at more than 100 sold-out shows on three continents, according to his website. In the same year as his televised victory, local fans bought out three shows at the Clay Center.

The NAACP considered Murphy for the Outstanding New Artist category at its Image Awards, and the Gazette-Mail named him the 2011 West Virginian of the Year for his charitable donations and benefit shows.

“I apologize to my fans everywhere and to the people of Logan County and West Virginia for this incident,” Murphy said in his statement. “It should never have happened.”

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