By Shereen Siewert
A 24-year-old Arkansas felon who threatened to kill a Wausau woman and shot at her vehicle last summer was sentenced Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, two months after his conviction on reckless endangerment charges.
Ladamien Lavontay Murph, who lists a Helena, Ark. permanent address but was living in Wausau for about six weeks before the shooting, was charged July 31, 2020 in Marathon County Circuit Court in connection with the shooting. In addition to attempted homicide charges, Murph, who also goes by the name “Damo Murphy,” initially faced attempted homicide charges in the case.
During a plea hearing Aug. 31, a judge agreed to amend the homicide charge to first-degree reckless endangerment. Murph was convicted on that charge, along with charges of false imprisonment and possession of a firearm after an out-of-state felony conviction. Other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.
According to court documents, a Wausau man called police at about 7:30 p.m. July 30, 2020 after discovering a bullet hole in his sister’s vehicle at a residence on Bopf Street. When questioned, the vehicle owner told police she knew about the bullet hole but didn’t immediately report the incident amid fear of retaliation.
The woman then told police she met Murph at a Wausau tavern the night before and gave him a ride to a Steuben Street home, along with another man not identified in court documents. On the way to the home, Murph allegedly became angry and disrespectful toward the woman, prompting her to pull over and ask the men to exit the vehicle.
But that’s when Murph allegedly pulled out a firearm equipped with an extended magazine, pointed it at the woman’s head, threatened to shoot her and ordered her to continue driving.
Police say the woman kept driving and stopped in the 600 block of Steuben Street as directed before Murph allegedly got out of the vehicle, walked to the driver’s side window and continued to threaten the woman with the gun pointed at her head. Eventually, as the woman drove away, scared and crying, Murph shot at the vehicle, according to court documents.
Police discovered a bullet hole in the door of the woman’s vehicle.
A nearby resident heard the two arguing and reported hearing the gunshot to police, but both Murph and the alleged victim had already left the area when an officer responded.
No one was injured.
During a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Circuit Judge Greg Huber sentenced Murph to six years in prison followed by five years of extended supervision. Murph was also granted 453 days credit for time served while awaiting trial.
Details surrounding his Arkansas criminal history were not available.