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Norfolk District Attorney's Office

Mass. Man Stabbed Mother to Death With Butcher’s Knife, Police Say

Sean Murphy, 21, was held without bail after arraignment on a murder charge Friday in connection with his mother's death

What to Know

  • Carlyn Murphy, 51, was found dead from apparent stab wounds at a home in Plainville, Massachusetts.
  • Her son, Sean Murphy, 21, was arraigned on a murder charge Friday morning at Wrentham District Court. He was held without bail.
  • The DA's office said police do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the public.

A 21-year-old Massachusetts man faced a judge Friday after police say he admitted to stabbing his mother to death with a butcher's knife in their Plainville home.

Sean Murphy was arraigned on a murder charge in Wrentham District Court. The judge ordered him held without bail.

According to court documents, Murphy was arrested Thursday night at Patriot Place in Foxboro with a butcher's knife in his pocket and later admitted to stabbing his mother, 51-year-old Carlyn Murphy.  

Murphy said he was shopping with his father in Mansfield and asked for the keys to the car. He then drove home, found the knife and hid it behind shopping bags before stabbing his mother.  

Murphy said it took longer than expected to kill her, and that he should have stabbed her in the heart to make her die more quickly because she did not deserve to die slowly, the documents said. 

Plainville police received a call from Patrick Murphy, Sean's father, at 10:28 p.m. who said his wife had been stabbed and that he believed his son had stabbed her. 

Patrick Murphy was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

Those who know the family expressed shock. 

"I was in the same grade as Sean, and so, I grew up with him," neighbor Natalie Tetreault said. "We rode the bus together. It’s really weird to hear about, actually."

Tetreault said she is in disbelief over the murder and allegation. She said there was nothing out of the ordinary in the Murphy household.

"She was really nice," Tetreault said of the victim. "Seemed normal. Sean seemed normal, too. But you just never know."

Tetreault's brother, Ryan, is calling for justice for the victim.

"There needs to be some type of justice for the mother, you know what I mean?" Ryan said.

Carlyn Murphy's employer, Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, released a statement Friday afternoon saying they were shocked and saddened over her death.

"We are shocked and saddened by the news of her passing and extend our deepest sympathies to her family. She and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," read the statement.

The district attorney's office said police do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the public. So far, the motive for the stabbing is unclear.

It's unclear when Murphy is due back in court.

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