Former volunteer firefighter sentenced to 6 years in death of Kendall Murphy

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DAVIESS Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A former volunteer firefighter was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday in the death of another volunteer firefighter in 2017.

Kendall Murphy was responding to an accident when 27-year-old Colby Blake responded to the same accident while driving drunk.

Murphy’s father, Dwayne has been a firefighter for over 30 years. He said his son’s death has made it difficult for him to continue in his job.

“It’s affected my ability to help people. It’s been two years and I’m hoping I’ll get over it and be able to do that again,” Dwayne Murphy said.

Emotions ran high in the Daviess County Courthouse, as witnesses for the defense and prosecution took the stand.

Police found Blake had a blood alcohol content level of .21% on the night of the accident.

Blake served 31 days in jail before being placed on house arrest.

Witnesses for Colby Blake spoke highly of his character and his willingness to help others.

While on the stand, Kendall Murphy’s family stated they wanted to see Blake serve more time.

Colby Blake took the stand and shared that he and Kendall knew each other for many years. He said they were in the high school band together.

Kendall’s parents testified they visited Blake in jail after the accident and visited him again during the Christmas season to extend their forgiveness.

As Kendall’s family and fiancee, Jennifer Padgett, took the stand they emphasized their disappointment that Blake did not reach out to them as they did for him.

In the final statements, Blake’s lawyer stated Blake was remorseful and apologetic. He added that per the legal system, Blake was advised not to contact the family while charges were pending.

Blake’s lawyer also recommended he earn his way back into society through programs such as alcoholic anonymous and speaking to age-appropriate students about his experiences.

The prosecution recommended prison time.

Blake addressed the Murphy family with an apology. He said he’s ready to move on from that night and move on with his life.

Kendall Murphy’s sister read a final statement on his behalf.

The judge sentenced Colby Blake to 2,190 days in prison, with credit for 31 days spent in jail after the accident and 579 days served on house arrest.

Blake was immediately taken into custody by the sheriff’s office.

Dwayne Murphy said he is pleased with the outcome.

“We’re happy for whatever would have happened. We just left that to the judge and that’s what it was,” he said.

Since Kendall Murphy’s passing, a scholarship has been established in his name through Barr-Reeve Community Schools. There is also a 5K race and golf scramble organized in his honor.

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