Retired State Judge’s Perjury Charge Faces Scrutiny in Anchorage Courtroom Amid Allegations of Grand Jury Corruption

Anchorage, Alaska – Arguments were presented in an Anchorage court on Monday regarding whether a perjury charge against a retired state judge should be dismissed. The case involves Margaret Murphy, a former District Court Judge from Homer who has been indicted by a grand jury on a single count of perjury. The charge stems from allegations made by a conservative activist, David Haeg, who has a history of hunting violations and has accused the Alaska judicial system of corruption.

Anchorage Superior Judge Thomas A. Matthews stated at the outset of the oral arguments that he would not make a decision that day. The central issue being debated is whether the perjury charge against Murphy is too tainted to proceed, due to the handling of the case by the Kenai grand jury and a special prosecutor.

The indictment filed against Murphy in April provides little information, merely stating that she allegedly perjured herself in November 2022 near Homer. This unusual case originated from an investigation conducted by a grand jury convened in Kenai, rather than by a state prosecutor. Murphy’s defense attorneys argue that the handling of the case has been severely flawed, with one grand jury member disappearing before the indictment was formally issued.

Supporters of David Haeg, who were present in the courtroom, claim that his case against Murphy and alleged corruption in the court system are of vital importance. Haeg, who was convicted of hunting wolves outside of state-approved boundaries in 2004, maintains that his conviction was unjust. In response, he established a website called “Alaska State of Corruption” and a group focused on expanding powers for Alaska grand juries.

Lawyers representing Murphy argue that the indictment should be dismissed due to technical problems with the evidence presented to the grand jury, inadequate instructions from the prosecutor, and a lack of specificity in the charges. Defense attorney Timothy Petumenos asserted that this case represents a significant breach of the investigative grand jury’s functions.

Judge Matthews will carefully review the prosecution and defense’s arguments before issuing his ruling within the next month.

In summary, arguments were heard in an Anchorage court on whether to dismiss a perjury charge against retired judge Margaret Murphy. The case is extraordinary due to the handling of the indictment by a Kenai grand jury, and is closely tied to allegations of corruption raised by activist David Haeg. The judge will make a ruling within 30 days.