Woman to Face Trial in Death of Son Left in Van

Article excerpt

A Bristow woman is scheduled to stand trial this week in the death of her 2-year-old son, who died when he was left alone in a van on a warm June day.

Karen Murphys trial on charges of felony murder, child abuse and child neglect is slated to begin Monday in Prince William County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors allege that she left Ryan Murphy in her van on June 17 when she went to her job at a veterinary hospital. When she found the toddler seven hours later, he was dead.

It wasnt the first time Karen Murphy, 40, left the boy alone in a vehicle, according to prosecutors. In January 2011, she briefly left Ryan in the van, until his day care provider called to ask why he wasnt there.

Prince William Commonwealths Attorney Paul Ebert and defense attorney Edward MacMahon did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

After a grand jury returned the indictments against Murphy in July, MacMahon called Ryans death a tragic accident and said Murphy was devastated by what happened.

Ebert has said theres no indication Ryans death was intentional; a felony homicide is an accidental killing committed during some other felony offense in Murphys case, child abuse and neglect, according to prosecutors. …