Murder charges reduced for Va. mother who left son in car

WASHINGTON – A local veterinarian charged with murder for leaving her 2-year-old son in a minivan will not serve any jail time.

Karen Murphy, of Bristow, entered a plea to two misdemeanor counts in Prince William County Court, after murder charges were reduced to child neglect.

Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert says Murphy was sentenced to six years probation with a two year suspended jail term. She must also perform 400 hours of community service.

“I dont’ think justice is going to be served by making her go to the penitentiary,” he said. “I’m convinced knowing what I know about the case, she’s punished herself more than the law could do.”

Murphy had left her son, Ryan, in her car last June for seven hours while she worked, forgetting he was there.

The incident in which Ryan died was the second time she had left him in the minivan.

Her attorney Edward McMann says Murphy is devasted.

“She’s devastated by the loss of her son and she is going to have to deal with that,” McMann said.

Her community service will be served at the local animal shelter.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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