Just over four years ago, the main suspect in a triple homicide in northern Spokane County was one of the top Republican Party picks to represent Spokane Valley in the Washington state Senate.
On Saturday, 30-year-old Roy H. Murry was charged for three counts of first-degree murder and taken into custody without incident after a voluntary interview at the Public Safety Building, said Deputy Mark Gregory, sheriff’s office spokesman.
Investigators believe Murry shot and killed 52-year-old Lisa M. Canfield, 59-year-old Terry Canfield and 23-year-old John R. Constable, Lisa Canfield’s son, the evening of May 25 before setting fires at the East Chattaroy Road property to conceal evidence of the crime.
Detectives continue to investigate the incident with the cooperation of Lisa Canfield’s daughter, Mandy Murry, who is the estranged wife of Roy Murry. She has stated her husband had a strained relationship with her family members and blamed them for fueling their marital rift.
In 2011, Spokane County 4th District Republican Precinct Committee officers picked Murry, a former Army veteran, along with Jeff Baxter, a former West Valley School District board member candidate, and Rep. Matt Shea to replace former Sen. Bob McCaslin, who was forced to retire for health reasons.
It didn’t take long, however, for controversy about the nominees to brew. While Shea – who had served in the state House of Representatives since 2008 – was a likely choice, the inclusion of Baxter and Murry was seen by many as the PCOs forcing Spokane County commissioners, who would make the appointment to fill out the remainder of McCaslin’s term, to pick Shea. Detractors noted that former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite and current 4th District Sen. Mike Padden were passed over by the PCOs.
Murry, however, was arrested in January 2011 in Las Vegas mere days after the PCOs made their choice. Murry was charged for sleeping in his car and carrying a concealed 9mm pistol. Ammunition and knives were also found at the time.
Baxter was eventually chosen by the commissioners, who argued that appointing Shea would have created another vacancy to be filled. Baxter eventually lost to Padden in the following fall’s primary election. Murry, however, dropped out of local Republican politics.
On Saturday, investigators searched the vehicle Murry drove to the Public Safety Building and located one firearm along with ammunition. It was unknown if the gun was the weapon used to murder the victims, Gregory said.
Detectives continue to ask for the public’s assistance and urge anyone who may have information regarding the incident or Murry to call Crime Check at 456-2233.