Hernando guard gets life sentence in 2014 attack on elderly patients

Brian Christopher Murphy pleaded guilty to all six charges against him, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Brian Murphy is pictured here after his 2014 arrest. He will serve a life sentence for attacking two elderly patients. [Hernando County Sheriff’s Office]
Brian Murphy is pictured here after his 2014 arrest. He will serve a life sentence for attacking two elderly patients. [Hernando County Sheriff’s Office]
Published December 6
Updated December 6

BROOKSVILLE — A 27-year-old former assisted-living facility guard was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for attacking two elderly patients in 2014.

That was part of the plea agreement Brian Christopher Murphy agreed to in court. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Murphy was facing the death penalty, according to court records.

He was arrested on March 27, 2014. Here's how the Sheriff’s Office described the incident: Murphy, a weekend security guard at Atria at Evergreen Woods, entered the assisted living facility and assaulted two elderly patients, deputies said.

He went to the room of Miriam Lepp, 88, and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t stay quiet. Then he walked down the hall to the room of Joseph Giambrone, 83, and beat him in the face with a metal object.

Lepp pressed a call button to summon a nurse, who arrived to find Murphy beating her. The nurse called the on-duty security guard, Jonathan Sousa, who got in a scuffle with Murphy and grabbed onto him until deputies arrived to make an arrest.

Giambrone never regained consciousness and died in hospice weeks after the attack. Lepp survived the initial attack but died at the age of 91 in 2017.

At the time, Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis said investigators believed Murphy was living in his car, addicted to or under the influence of drugs and might have been looking for food.

Contact Justin Trombly at [email protected] Follow @JustinTrombly.

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