NEW ALBANY — A New Albany man who pleaded guilty in August to luring a child into the woods and sexually assaulting her has been sentenced to 35 years.
Murphy Edwards, 22, appeared in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1 Thursday, where he was sentenced to 35 years for a level 1 child molestation charge and five years for being a habitual offender.
On June 6, New Albany police responded after a child was found at West Lewis and Walnut streets in New Albany after she had been missing for a short time. Her mother had let her go to a nearby store on Bono Road with her friends. Edwards, who lived nearby and had worked at the store for about four months, lured the child into a wooded area near the store where he sexually assaulted her.
He was arrested June 8 and originally charged with a level 5 felony for kidnapping and a level 6 felony for failing to register as a sex offender. He had a pending warrant out of Marion County at the time of his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender for a 2017 molestation conviction.
He was later charged with the level 1 felony and habitual offender enhancement, which he ultimately pleaded guilty to Aug. 6.
During his sentencing hearing Thursday, the child’s mother tearfully read from a statement she had prepared.
“You took my baby,” she said. She added that a few days after the abuse, her daughter started referring to Edwards as ‘the bad man,’ “which you are,” the child’s mother said in court.
She said her daughter is strong and that “my daughter will get past what you did to her,” the woman said, adding that “I hope and pray that what you did to my baby doesn’t happen to yours.”
Edwards said in court he knew he has hurt a lot of people, and that “I just want to say I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” he said.
His attorney, Bill Gray, said after the hearing Edwards was glad he got the sentence that he did, which also includes a treatment portion.
“He realizes he needs help and he wants to get the help in prison so he can stop doing this,” Gray said. “He’s very sorry.”
Floyd County Prosecutor Chris Lane said that he was pleased with the outcome, which helps uphold safety and justice in the community.
“As the prosecutor we care about the safety of our community but we also care deeply about how it affects individuals,” Lane said. “In this case, the victim is a very young person. We have a special obligation to hold people accountable, so that that person who had the courage to come forward will know that she was represented well.”