Glenwood man arrested on arson, attempted murder
A 64-year-old Glenwood Springs man was arrested last week on arson and attempted murder charges after setting his car on fire inside his garage, according to police.
David Murphy was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder, a class 2 felony, first-degree arson, a class 3 felony, and misdemeanor reckless endangerment.
A Glenwood Springs Fire Department ambulance crew in the 1600 block of Blake Avenue noticed flames coming from a vehicle inside an open garage the evening of Aug. 31.
Firefighters were able to extract the white 2003 Acura RSX and extinguish the flames.
But investigators thought the fire was suspicious, as there appeared to be three points of origin inside the cab of the vehicle.
Murphy and his 83-year-old stepmother were the only people in the house.
Murphy explained that he was in the garage getting ice cream and had the vehicle doors open.
A fire investigator asked him why he had the doors open, and he replied, “because I was starting the fire,” according to an affidavit.
Murphy later told investigators that “he wanted to make sure nobody else could take possession of his car so he decided to burn it,” according to a police report.
He told investigators that, after setting the fire, he went into the house to tell his stepmother that the car was on fire and to have the phone handy in case the fire got out of control.
Murphy initially said he was not suicidal, nor was he trying to burn the house down or hurt his stepmother.
He told investigators he was off his PTSD and blood pressure medication, and he later said he might have been suicidal, though he “did not know how he was going to accomplish his death with the fire.”
Officers found a pink lighter in his pocket and a piece of cardboard that looked burned in the rear passenger compartment of the car.
Murphy told investigators that he had “poured beer in the car to make it look like he was ‘out of my mind’ at the time of the incident.”
He said that he’d done this several other times and the fire department had responded in the past, though investigators found no such records.
District Attorney Sherry Caloia said charges have not yet been filed by her office, and Murphy has already been ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.
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