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Sister of murdered woman made a victim again by verdict against murderer

Elise Haas and Tim Steele

53 mins ago

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Gina Kimberlin lost her younger sister Monica Murrah nearly three years ago.

Monica – also known as Star – was stabbed to death by her husband in front of their 8-year-old son. Although Michael Murrah was deemed a “significant threat,” Clark County Superior Court Judge Suzan Clark said found that he is not guilty but insane and should be placed in a state mental hospital.

Kimberlin said they still live in fear as they try to protect Monica's son.

“She was going through a divorce. It was just years of abuse – verbal, physical, psychological – from Michael,” she told KOIN 6 News Monday night.

Monica Murrah, who was killed in November 2021, seen in undated photos taken June 17, 2024 (Gina Kimberlin)

Monica was killed after a court case in Clark County rejected her request for an extension of an interim injunction against her husband.

When he was arrested, Michael Murrah told the arresting officer that he was “fulfilling a commandment and prophecy of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus asked him to make a sacrifice for the good of all,” court documents show.

For Kimberlin and her family, the verdict that she is not guilty but not responsible is difficult to accept.

“It was traumatic. It feels like we are being victimized over and over again, every time we try to get justice, to get closure in all sorts of ways,” she said. “It feels like she had no rights. They died when she died.”

Monica Murrah, who was killed in November 2021, seen in undated photos taken June 17, 2024 (Gina Kimberlin)
Monica Murrah, who was killed in November 2021, seen in undated photos taken June 17, 2024 (Gina Kimberlin)

She added that under this ruling, Murrah could retain his parental rights.

Lawyers who work to combat domestic violence now want to ensure that Gina Kimberlin and her husband receive adoption rights and become the boy's legal guardians.

Michelle Bart with the National Women's Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation, March 26, 2023 (KOIN)
Michelle Bart with the National Women's Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation, March 26, 2023 (KOIN)

“The law should help victims of crime, not perpetrators,” said Michelle Bart of the National Women's Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation. “We have a lot of blood on our hands in this city because so many women have applied for a restraining order and have not received an extension or the original order.”

Kimberlin said she will continue to care for her sister's son and advocate for the victims.

“I want women with domestic violence issues to be taken more seriously,” she said.