DeWayne Murphy

DeWayne Murphy

TIMES-PICAYUNE: Officials Won't Aid Inmate Who Needs New Heart DATE: January 30, 1994 Sunday BYLINE: By DONALD BRADLEY The Kansas City Star DATELINE: KANSAS CITY, MO.

DeWayne Murphy needs a heart transplant.

Everyone says so. Doctors, lawyers, his family - even the warden at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., where Murphy is locked up - say the Clay County man will die unless he gets a new heart.

But Murphy, 33, who has congestive heart failure caused by Lyme disease, is not even on a list of transplant candidates. Although doctors report his condition is worsening, authorities oppose all attempts to get him the operation.

Warden William Hedrick says the Bureau of Prisons does not provide heart transplants to inmates.

But some people familiar with the case say it comes down to this: Few hearts are available for transplants. Law-abiding citizens and children come first.

There's no room in the lifeboat for Murphy.

He was caught three times with large amounts of methamphetamine - the last time after he had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute. He could have gotten 40 years but was sentenced to four - leniency from the judge because of his health.

Now the drug history and defiant behavior appear to have slammed the door on pleas from Murphy's mother and his attorneys.

Murphy's release is scheduled Aug. 1, 1996. If doctors are correct, he will be dead before then.

"No question, this is a tragic case," said Chris Whitley, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas City, Mo., which prosecuted Murphy. "But does he deserve our sympathy? Given his behavior, he's exhausted our sympathy."

The case is out of the Kansas City office's hands, Whitley said.


The doctors were correct- DeWayne Murphy died on October 12, 1995, at the age of 34. *******************************************************