Prosecutors: Man may have used wine bottle to fatally beat girlfriend

Casey Murray (Courtesy SFPD)

By Daniel Montes, Bay City News

A man charged with murder after his girlfriend was found dead in her home last weekend in San Francisco made his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Casey Murray, 56, has been charged with murder, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with force likely to cause injury and resisting arrest, in connection with the death of 63-year-old Alice James.

Officers located James’ body at a home in the 500 block of Alvarado Street on Saturday after a man walked into the Police Department’s Mission station and told officers his friend may have killed someone. After James’ body was discovered, officers arrested Murray on suspicion of murder.

Murray, who is being represented by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, did not enter a plea on Wednesday and his arraignment was put over for Friday morning.

According to court documents, Murray and James had been dating and on Saturday morning, Murray’s friend began receiving text messages from Murray, saying things like “couldn’t take her abuse anymore,” and that he “killed her, me next.”

Upon receiving the messages, Murray’s friend went to police and reported the odd texts. Acting on the information, officers then went to the James’ home, where they found Murray in the home’s garage, covered in blood, court documents said.

When officers ordered Murray to show his hands and get on his knees, he allegedly refused and urged officers to shoot him. Officers, however, were able to use non-lethal force to subdue Murray before taking him into custody.

Inside the home, officers found James badly beaten, lying on her couch in a pool of blood. Investigators recovered a wine bottle with blood on it and a large piece of glass from a broken picture frame near her body, according to court documents.

The city’s assistant medical examiner concluded that James suffered numerous blunt force trauma injuries, including a crushed lower jaw that may have caused her tongue to destabilize, causing her to possibly suffocate.

James’ upper jaw was also crushed and she had a skull fracture to the right side of her head, which caused fluid to leak from her brain. The assistant medical examiner concluded that her injuries may have been consistent with being struck by the wine bottle.

James also had cuts to both her wrists, which may have been caused by the broken glass near her, court documents said.

After he was arrested, Murray was taken to the hospital, where hewas apparently found to have injuries to his knuckles consistent with punching. He also allegedly had numerous blood stains on his clothes.

During their investigation into the homicide, police found that officers had responded and spoken with James in the past. Police had numerous past bodyworn camera footage of James apparently telling officers that she was scared of Murray.

According to court documents, Murray has past arrests for domestic violence and has a pending phone harassment case with a different victim. In 1998, he was allegedly convicted of a felony.

If convicted on the new charges, Murray could be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years to life.

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