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Suspect's ankle says `Here I am'; Robbery victim spots GPS device.

Byline: Scott J. Croteau

WORCESTER - A city man was already on probation officials' radar when he allegedly robbed two other men at gunpoint. He was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet.

Tyrone S. Murphy, 29, of 24 Charlton St., Apt. 1, was linked to the Dec. 22 robbery near a Main Street liquor store by a court-ordered GPS device, strapped to his ankle because of a 1995 rape and robbery conviction. The device enables authorities to monitor and track a wearer's movements.

He was charged Thursday in Central District Court with armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (handgun) and carrying a firearm without a license.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Murphy in January, charging him with the robbery outside Kirsch Liquors, 646 Main St. He was in the Worcester County House of Correction on an unrelated charge at the time the warrant was issued.

While investigating the robbery, Detective Michael A. Tarckini said he received information that a suspect in the incident wore a GPS ankle bracelet, according to a police report. He contacted authorities with the electronic monitoring program at the Office of the Commissioner of Probation on Jan. 2.

"I spoke with Program Manager Gene Irwin regarding the above information, giving him particulars to date, time and location, and that suspect who at this time is unknown, however is believed to be wearing a GPS monitor," Detective Tarckini wrote.

Mr. Irwin did a computer search and identified Mr. Murphy as a suspect, according to the report.

"He further advised that the GPS recorded locations and times for Murphy in the area of 646 Main St. at the time of the robbery," the detective said. Mr. Murphy was in the Worcester County House of Correction on an unrelated charge. He denied to detectives that he had any involvement in the Dec. 22 armed robbery, Detective Tarckini said in the report.

A victim and a witness in the armed robbery, however, identified Mr. Murphy as the robber in a photo array, police said. They reported that two men cashed a check at the liquor store and were returning to their car when two men approached them; one showed a handgun and demanded cash. The men handed over $224 in cash, reports said.

Mr. Murphy was held on $50,000 cash bail on the armed robbery case and is scheduled to return to court March 30, according to records on file in Central District Court. He also has a probation violation hearing scheduled in Superior Court that day.

Worcester Superior Court records filed Sept. 1 accuse Mr. Murphy of violating his Superior Court probation from the 1995 case. Records said he failed to attend a sex offender group and tested positive for drugs on Sept. 1. It was unknown yesterday when he had been mandated to wear the ankle bracelet and for how long he had worn it.

In 1995, Mr. Murphy pleaded guilty to charges of unnatural aggravated rape, robbery, burglary, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and several other charges. He was sentenced to 10 concurrent terms of five to 10 years in Walpole State Prison. Upon his release, he was placed on probation for five years.

Mr. Murphy's Concord-based lawyer, David H. Erickson, filed several motions in Worcester Superior Court on Feb. 2. One motion was for expenses to hire an expert "for the investigation of the alleged tracking of the defendant by GPS at the time he allegedly committed an armed robbery." The lawyer asked for no more than $1,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.

A judge took no action on the motion, according to court records.

Mr. Erickson declined to speak about his client's case yesterday.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 6, 2007
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