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Former Niagara County Judge, District Attorney passes away

LOCKPORT, NY (WIVB) — Former Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, passed away Monday at the age of 70.

Murphy was the longest-serving District Attorney in Niagara County History. During his tenure, Murphy developed a domestic violence program that became a model for the state. He served four terms as the county‘s chief prosecutor and was elected judge for the Niagara County Court in the Eighth Judicial District of New York in 2008 and was re-elected in 2017.

Murphy previously served seven years as an Assistant US Attorney with the United States Department of Justice in the Western District of New York, eventually becoming Chief of Attorney for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in 1983.

“We are all deeply saddened by the passing of retired Niagara County Court Judge Matt Murphy,” said Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh. “Judge Murphy had a distinguished career as both a Niagara County Court Judge and district attorney and served in those positions with honor and dignity. I had the pleasure to work closely with Judge Murphy and know that beyond his roles as a public servant, he was a just a genuine person who really cared for those around him. Even if you disagreed with him, you know that his decisions came from a place of trying to do what he believed was right.”

“Judge Murphy served 16 years as District Attorney. He was an extraordinary leader who significantly modernized the office, including placing a focus on prosecution of domestic violence and DWI crimes,” said District Attorney Brian Seaman. “Judge Murphy was also an excellent trial lawyer, and never stopped working on cases himself. I put my first big case into the Grand Jury under his guidance and learned so much from him. Above all else, I think Judge Murphy would want to be as a man of unwavering integrity. He always did what he thought was right, and sometimes paid a price for it. I’m sorry that he didn’t get to enjoy the retirement that he so greatly earned for longer. He will be afternoon missed by the legal community of Niagara County, and the community at large. Rest in peace Judge Murphy.”

Calling hours will be held from 3-7 pm on Thursday, Oct. 13 and Friday, Oct. 14 in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home. A Mass Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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