"Knockout King" Elex Murphy Sentenced, Widow Testifies, "My Family is Destroyed"

Thumbnail image for knockout cover.jpg
2011 RFT cover. | Timothy Lane
Last month, Elex Murphy, the so-called "knockout king" accused of beating a 72-year-old stranger to death in Dutchtown, was convicted -- two years after the brutal attack.

And last week Murphy was sentenced, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office said on Friday, with an announcement that included some excerpts of the dramatic testimony of Yen Nguyen, widow of Hoang Nguyen, the immigrant who died after the violent assault.

"We came to America together," she said, in tears. "Now my family is destroyed."

See also:
- "Knockout King" Elex Murphy Trial: A Look Back At Accusations, Confession
- "Knockout King" Elex Murphy Convicted: "I Hope They Find the Right Person"
- Judge KO's Prosecutor's Attempt to Seize RFT Notes in Knockout King Case

This sentencing comes after a high-profile trial and investigation, which we covered in depth in our 2011 cover story, exploring the violent adolescent ritual of sucker-punching random pedestrians as part of some sort of twisted game.

elex-murphy-image.jpg
via
Elex Murphy.

Murphy, now 20 years old, was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years for the second-degree murder and first-degree assault charges. That sentence technically amounts to 55 years in prison.

In April of 2011, the couple was attacked in the broad daylight of morning in an alley on their way home from the market. They were approached by four individuals they did not know -- and Murphy allegedly grabbed the husband's jacket and punched him in the head, causing him to fall to the ground.

Murphy was also accused of punching his wife in the face -- with such a hard blow that her orbital bone fractured.

Her husband died in the hospital.

In court, the wife testified "that she misses her husband very much and is now left with no one to share her life with and help her with everyday activities," the circuit attorney's office says.

elex-murphy-mug.jpg
Elex Murphy's mug shot.

"When such a violent crime happens to innocent people for no reason in broad daylight, it changes everyone's level of expectation for personal safety," Assistant Circuit Attorney Christine Krug says in a statement.

And in response to questions on her Facebook page about the other perpetrators, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says:

At this time, the witnesses needed to establish the identities of others involved in the attack have not come forward. If anyone has any information about this crime, please contact the police department's Homicide Unit at 314-444-5371 or the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office at 314-622-4941 immediately. Any information that the public can share is vital.

Here's her full statement announcing the sentencing:

Elex Murphy Sentenced for Brutal Dutchtown Attack

In April 2011, a morning walk home from the market turned deadly for one Dutchtown couple. As a 59 year-old woman and her 72 year- old husband headed up the alley in broad daylight, they were approached by four people they did not know. Suddenly, Elex Murphy grabbed the husband's jacket and punched him in the head. The elderly man fell to the ground.

The ruthless attack didn't end there. Elex Murphy then punched the wife in the face, hitting her so hard that her orbital bone fractured. The four people ran off, leaving the injured woman to get help for her dying husband.

The 72 year-old man was rushed to the hospital later died as a result of his injuries. The senseless attack devastated the victim's family. The wife testified that she misses her husband very much and is now left with no one to share her life with and help her with every day activities. "We came to America together," the victim said tearfully. "Now my family is destroyed."

The attack impacted not only the victims, but the entire Dutchtown community. ACA Krug explained, "When such a violent crime happens to innocent people for no reason in broad daylight, it changes everyone's level of expectation for personal safety."

Elex Murphy was convicted of Murder 2nd, Assault 1st and two counts of Armed Criminal Action. The jury, after hearing testimony from the living victim and a Dutchtown resident, recommended sentences of life on the Murder 2nd, twenty-five years on the Assault 1st and fifteen and twelve years on the accompanying Armed Criminal Action Charges. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years, to run consecutively.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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96 comments
mr.dewes
mr.dewes

I just saw another case of the knockout game just happened on the U-City loop, it was a group of black teens attacking a black victim.  I must disagree with carltonwheately05, it isn't us against them, it is a problem in the black community.  I read the graduation rate in the St. Louis city school system is 53%.  Basically half of the city youth aren't making it through high school.  At some point the black community has to take responsibility, stop whining and raise their children.  If you feel discriminated against, the solution is to keep your behavior above reproach.  Then if you are discriminated against it is the fault of the "pecker wood assholes".  If you behave like a loud, uneducated thug, you deserve to be treated like one.  Oh well, glad to hear Elex Murphy will be old by the time he gets out of jail. Another one of the 47% of their youth the black community seems content to throw away.

carltonwheatley05
carltonwheatley05

All that I can say is that an elderly man died for nothing... absolutely nothing. But if blacks (like myself) were to start chanting racist, hate filled comments every time a story where the racial roles were reversed, we Gould be considered as rioting... and for nothing. Just look down at these racist comments from these pecker wood assholes. This is the problem, it's a game of them against us.

bubba_carver2004
bubba_carver2004

just sayin    someone should go to his mothers house and  knock her the fuck out    for  not being a parent to her child   god help her if  she lives near me


mchchicago78
mchchicago78

Black teens attack elderly Asian people in San Francisco a lot. Like everyday.

JoeShopper
JoeShopper

Another black teen committing a crime?

SHOCKING!

thechenfei
thechenfei

One of Obama's sons.  Worthless filth just like his daddy.

johnbonhamdrummer
johnbonhamdrummer

As a boxer, I wish this punk lived in my neighborhood! I feel horrible for the widow and I hope things get better soon!

crbullseye
crbullseye

No death for him, make him suffer the rest of his life! Solitary confinement for life only out of his cell 3 hours a week for showers. No visitors besides his attorney! No other human interaction except for guards. No tv, radio or anything else. I think in a few years he will want to kill himself anyway!!!

_Joe_
_Joe_

Cut his fucking hands off before he goes in.

Jerepa
Jerepa

This trash deserves to die for what he did.

max_in_missouri
max_in_missouri

I would actually say this is a fair sentence.  Maybe a little light.  I'm assuming he has to serve the majority of the 55 though, in saying this is fair.

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

NO....He deserves Life without Parole..........

Molly Handy McClintock
Molly Handy McClintock

An eye for an eye! Of course this will never happen in the city of St. Louis! Do I say this becuase of my blood-thirst for revenge? Damn right I do!!!

Michaella Babbitt
Michaella Babbitt

we should engage kids rather than "keep them interested". You say they spend all their money on athletics and extra-curriculars, but do nothing to make kids work for it (i.e. academic standards for athletic/extra curricular activites, and academic probation programs for children who do badly), and then blame the child when standardized tests show them failing? As a product of St. Louis's public schools i'd say it's a little more complicated than that. As they say, there's more than one way to skin a cat. There's more than one way to express applied knowledge. In a world so fast, and in a day in age when the word no is losing it's definition it's important to set clear boundaries. It's important to make clear consequences for actions taken. We also, as a community (because this is something that children won't be taught ANYWHERE else) is that empathy is a worthy trait. That nothing comes naturally, and kindness and love are something that takes practice. Instead of telling every dumb kid he could be a CEO, or president why not try to instill in him the rudimentary basis for being a decent human being?

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

I personally worked at an area school surronded by extremely low property value and extremely high crime rates. A boy was just killed there in a knock out champ type of situation. This school has absolutely NO problems with funding education. Most of the funding went to athletics and other extra curricular activities because they have to keep students interested. They have had,in the past, the highest rate of of illiterate high school graduates. They have lowered standardized testing so kids will graduate. Point being surronding property value doesnt determine school funding. Test scores,drop out rates,and poor attendance does. So in the world of Joeseph Hess kids that show up and try hard to get educated should be second to kids who dont? We should have the best schools in the worst areas so no one can show up?

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

well at no point did I say slaughter him like a pig,first off. Second off the removal off this person from society is a positive contribution and sending a message to people,who place no value on the life of another,that if they wish to take a violent action on another human being than this is what can happen,that is a positive contrubution. And third schools lose funding due to bad attendence,poor test results,and high drop out rates. You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. People do well in these school systems and you will never hear about it. If you are born in America you have it pretty well. Theres alot of opprutunity here. Use it or continue to blame everyone else.

Steve Coller
Steve Coller

They have some interest new games in prison for him to occupy his time with.

Thomas Doyle
Thomas Doyle

Yes.and do the ful 55 years. Came out an old man.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

And FYI the schools lose funding due to the drop out rate and participation if its students. You cannot blame society for this.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Everybody who is born here has it pretty good and there are plenty of programs installed to help those in need and an opinion on this is not better or worse if your black or white.

Joseph Hess
Joseph Hess

True justice would be delivering positive contributions to society in the future, not being slaughtered like a pig.

Joseph Hess
Joseph Hess

Not that I'm more qualified to an opinion than you, but I'm a white 20-something something who lives (and has lived for 5 years) in the neighborhood where the knockout game was/is most prevalent.

Joseph Hess
Joseph Hess

Education should have come from under-funded city schools that exist in a system where property values dictate funding for education? Obviously he's not reasonable, but do any of us know his background, circumstance or upbringing? No, everyone is pointing at a horrible act and saying that we need to put people to sleep because of a system that doesn't educate and mainstream media that doesn't demonstrate the true price paid for violence. I'd say you're focusing on the results and not the cause. Walter, you're obviously older than me and by proxy you're wiser, so I'm not trying to blast you for your opinion, but I feel like this is the reality of the situation. The falsehood here is that no one looks inward or to each other in regards to this incident, they only look at the symptoms and not the problem.

Cliff Pass
Cliff Pass

Piece of human garbage Send the piece of trash to a Chinese prison

Walter Sullivan
Walter Sullivan

"Fair?" Really? Do we even have to ask the question? An elderly man and his wife are attacked one day for no other reason than they could, the husband dies, the wife is left injured and widowed, and we have to ask if his sentence is fair? What the fuck kind of world do we live in where we even have to ask the question?

Kenny Snarzyk
Kenny Snarzyk

I think you all should carry out the rape sentencing you gave him. Judge hard.

Walter Sullivan
Walter Sullivan

people like this are beyond education or reform. what reasonable person thinks it's amusing to attack random people. i'm sure he was surprised he got caught, let alone sentenced. education should have come a LONG time ago.

Andrew Eldridge
Andrew Eldridge

Well he has a promising career in the Penal Boxing League....seriously he committed the act of assault which lead to a death. Actions have consequences its a shame we can't find the rest of this crew but it is a start...shit there's plenty of people in jail for 10 years for weed and rapists are paroled after 10. He won't serve the whole sentence

Dennis Hanson
Dennis Hanson

Bet he wasn't smiling when that sentence was read!

Rosalind Hagedorn
Rosalind Hagedorn

Elex could have been a champ in a boxing ring, now he's a chump in the prison system...shame

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Having said that drop him in the middle of the ocean because yes I fear and hate evil people

Bryan Sutter
Bryan Sutter

I'm a man of god and all but I think he should watch his family get murdered in front of him.

Kevin Rudroff
Kevin Rudroff

Don't b naive,there's people out there that thrive and enjoy violence. If your full of love spread it but let justice be served. Sick of being labeled a bad person because I believe in justice and punishment for a man who is evil.

Kenny Snarzyk
Kenny Snarzyk

Everyone that wants this guy raped should be put on a watch list.

Billy Casagrand
Billy Casagrand

Dont drop the soap, sleep tight be sure to keep ur butthole tight

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

ST. Louis we need to BE BETTER and DO BETTER overall towards everyone!! #StopHate. #StartLove

Ksmith Wash
Ksmith Wash

Senseless crimes/crimes in our city will never feel a level of fairness from victims!

Rick Firestein
Rick Firestein

Hope he's killed while being raped....by a food tray. Tax payers should not have to support this idiot.

flowersintheattic
flowersintheattic

@thechenfei  you are the worthless filth to make such a statement.  where do you get thoughts like that from?  you sound like you need a brain scan.  Obama has no son.  Obama was Harvard Law Review.  brilliant.  high IQ.  a damn great president.  two terms, democratically elected BY AN ELECTORAL LANDSLIDE.  people like you need therapy.  you don't have a sound viewpoint, you operate from a position of extreme hate.

bubba_carver2004
bubba_carver2004

@crbullseye sure lets feed and cloth him for  55 yrs   so  we can charge john Q taxpayer for him commiting a crime  i say hang his stupid ass up in a tree and let the widow 's family  take shots at him

bubba_carver2004
bubba_carver2004

@Tony MerklinNO  what he deserves is   to die like his victim  eye for an eye and all

bubba_carver2004
bubba_carver2004

@Andrew Eldridge  if he dont serve it all then he will die at a young age   just because when someone sees him walking up to them  they will automatically think of  why he was in prison and shoot his retarded ass

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