LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville woman pleaded guilty Friday to the 2011 murder of George Murphy. It’s a case that received national attention about the spousal rights of same sex couples.
Bobbie Jo Clary sat with tears in her eyes while the judge described what Clary was admitting she did in October 2011.
“You caused the death of George Murphy by inflicting massive trauma to the victim’s head. During the same time period of the murder and in the same location, you unlawfully took the victim’s van, you fled to Indiana in the van after committing the murder of George Murphy,” said Judge Susan Schulz Gibson.
Clary’s family sat behind her during the hearing, also crying as the judge spoke. The guilty plea put an end to a case that put Clary and her partner Geneva Case at the center of a legal debate; whether a same-sex couple with a civil union certificate from Vermont could be forced to testify against each other in Kentucky.
Case allegedly heard Clary confess to the murder and saw Clary trying to clean up the evidence. In September 2013, Judge Schulz Gibson ruled that Case must testify because Kentucky does not recognize same-sex civil unions or marriages.
Clary claimed that George Murphy was trying to rape her when she killed him. Murphy’s brother spoke in court, saying the accusation was slander and asking for an apology.
“I was just trying to get that cleared up that that wasn’t so. That’s all I was trying to do, get that cleared up, clear his name a little bit,” said John Murphy.
Clary did not offer an apology.
Clary was sentenced to 40 years in prison with credit for time served. She’ll be eligible for parole in 2031.