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Parkersburg man faces kidnapping, malicious wounding charges

Tuesday’s hostage incident lasted three hours

Parkersburg Police vehicles blocked off Quincy and Eighth streets in Parkersburg, for over three hours Tuesday while handling a hostage situation. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — A man accused of beating and holding a woman hostage Tuesday night in Parkersburg was arraigned and held without bond on a kidnapping charge Wednesday.

Robert Leon Murphy Jr., 39, was taken into custody around 11:47 p.m. Tuesday, about three hours after police were called to the 802 Quincy St. apartment he shared with the victim. According to a criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court, he struck the woman multiple times, including with a gun, and cut her with a knife, then refused to let her leave the apartment.

Police were notified of a report of a man with a gun at the apartment at 8:45 p.m., Parkersburg Police Capt. Scott Elliott said. An officer arrived on the scene, looked in the window and saw the suspect “holding her at gunpoint,” he said.

At that point, officers cordoned off a portion of Quincy Street in an effort to keep the neighborhood safe, Elliott said.

Murphy released the woman around 11:21 p.m. after “on-again, off-again negotiations,” Elliott said.

Robert Leon Murphy Jr.

“It was a very good job by our negotiating team to get him to calm down and … release her,” he said.

The woman was quickly taken to a nearby ambulance, Elliott said. Police reported she sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Murphy remained barricaded inside for another half an hour before he exited the house without incident.

Elliott said the goal of the officers on scene was to resolve the situation through negotiation rather than the use of force.

Murphy was arraigned via video Wednesday morning on charges of kidnapping and malicious assault.

Bond was set at $50,000 for the malicious assault charge, but because kidnapping carries a potential life sentence, bond must be set for that charge in Wood County Circuit Court.

Madeline Scarborough contributed to this story.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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