Nacogdoches man accused of machete attacks found guilty

Nijinksi Murphy (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Nijinksi Murphy (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - During the second day of his jury trial Tuesday, a jury found a  36-year-old Nacogdoches man accused of going house to house with a machete and assaulting people guilty of one count of aggravated assault and two counts of burglary of a habitation.

During testimony, Nijinski Tywon Murphy told a panel of jurors he heard voices telling him the people he attacked were going to kill him.

When deputies arrived on the scene on July 2, 2012, Murphy allegedly told them he was the anti-Christ and that he was marking people.

Murphy is being tried in Judge Edwin Klein's 420th Judicial District Court.

On July 2, 2012 deputies with the Nacogdoches Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the 1700 block of County Road 521 at approximately 5:30 p.m. after receiving several calls about a man going house to house with a machete.

When deputies arrived on the scene, Murphy told them he was the anti-Christ and was marking people. Former Sheriff Thomas Kerss told KTRE News that he assumed Murphy was referring to "the marking of the beast."

Kerss said Murphy broke into at least three residences and assaulted five people. He said the victims suffered various cuts and injuries and one woman suffered a broken arm.

Murphy has a history of assault issues and mental illness, and Kerss said it appeared Murphy had suffered from a psychotic episode that triggered the attack.

During Tuesday's testimony, Murphy claimed he doesn't remember how he got the machete.

"I don't know, I don't remember. I just heard voices that day telling me they were going to kill me, crazy stuff," Murphy said.

Murphy said he went into a resident's yard when another man came out of nowhere as if he was "invisible," shrouded by a bright light. He said the man was Latino and had a knife and a gun.

The Latino man slashed him with the knife, so he ran from house to house to get help, Murphy said. He said he approached a travel trailer and was greeted by an older woman. He said he went into the kitchen and that was when she began to push him and attack him.

Murphy claimed another woman inside the home grabbed his foot and tried to pin him down. He said none of the women who testified during Monday's trial were the women who attacked him.

He says he had no choice but to slash the older woman with the machete.

"I whacked her. I whacked her through her arm, right down here. They didn't want to let me out of that house alive," Murphy said.

He said he then turned on the other woman.

"She wouldn't let go of my leg. She unlawfully restrained me," Murphy said. "I whacked her real good. There should've been a deep cut on her."

He said the Latino man followed him to the travel trailer and began to hit him over the head with a 2x4 piece of wood.

Murphy said he believes the people were trying to kill him, and would cut his body into pieces and throw him into a fire saying "he knows that's what they do."

He said he fled the house when a policeman in a cruiser approached him. He dropped the machete in the yard and allowed the officer to arrest him. He was then taken to the hospital.

Defense attorney John Boundy showed Murphy several photographs of the homes he allegedly broke into that July night. Murphy testified he didn't recognize any of the homes. He also claimed evidence used in Monday's trial, including police video tapes and 911 calls, were fake.

"Now, Nijinksi, you did tell the jury that you hit several people with a machete, why did you do that?" Boundy said.

"I felt like my life was in danger. I went into (the homes) for protection. I was hoping that someone would call 911. What happened? Why did they not render aid?" Murphy said.

During closing arguments, Boundy urged jurors to do the right thing.

"Bottom line is this, it's your call. You have common sense. You have a good human brain that God gave you. Look at all the evidence; look at your notes. Remember your testimony. I think you are going to find beyond reasonable doubt that Najinski Murphy on July 2, 2012 did not intend to hurt anyone and was just asking for help," said Boundy.

Assistant District Attorney Cristin Lane says Murphy intended to harm the residents in the neighborhood and tried to break down one resident's door. When he wasn't able to get to those homeowners, he moved onto the next house and assaulted the older woman with the machete in hand.

Lane said she does not believe Murphy's story of recalling the events on the day of his arrest. She says the evidence is in the police video.

"You heard him. 'I'm the anti-Christ. I'm coming after you,'" said Lane.

Lane painted the picture of scared residents fending off an intruder with a weapon. She says all the residents were trying to defend themselves and would do anything to protect their families. She says Murphy's story of being attacked is a fabrication. She says Murphy did the attacking.

Lane referred to the 911 tape and says it is even hard for her to listen to it because you can hear the families screaming.

"The line went dead because the families were fighting for their lives," said Lane.

She said the families had cuts, broken arms, and one witness even told her that Murphy held her head back with the intent to chop her head off.

She says Murphy's testimony is not credible.

"I can't explain why the things that happened that day did. But it did. You can look at the picture's, you can look at the people who came over to talk to you. Look at all these.. He is guilty. He didn't even have to use the weapon, he could've just exhibited it, but he used it," said Lane.

The sentencing process of the trial will begin Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

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