Army Member Pleads Guilty in Race-Related Haverhill Bar Attack

Two men—including an active member of the military—pled guilty yesterday to assault and battery charges stemming from an attack earlier this month on an Asian man

Steve O’Connell, spokesperson for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office, told WHAV the April 6 altercation was “based on race.”

As reported by WHAV April 7, Murrey and Taylor were involved in a late-night altercation against an Asian male April 6. They were arrested by Haverhill Police at the Lasting Room, Washington Street. Witnesses said the victim's head was bashed against the bar.

Under a plea agreement made at a dangerousness hearing Monday in Haverhill District Court, John Murrey, 53, of Lee, N.H., pleaded guilty to amended charges including assault and battery to intimidate based on race and assault and battery. Two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot) were dismissed.

Matthew Taylor, 34, of Fort Gordon, Georgia, pleaded guilty to amended charges of assault and battery to intimidate based on race and two counts of assault and battery. One count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot) was dismissed.

Each was sentenced by Judge Alan Swan to six months in house of correction, 60 days to be served with the balance suspended for one year with probation. Additionally, Murrey will be subject to random drug and alcohol screening. As a member of the Army, Taylor also agreed to complete an Army substance abuse program at Fort Gordon, O’Connell said.

The case was prosecuted by Essex Assistant District Attorney Steven Patten. Defense attorneys Ted Craney and Joseph Gannons represented Murray and Taylor respectively.

One thought on “Army Member Pleads Guilty in Race-Related Haverhill Bar Attack

  1. I am curious as to why it is news that one of these men is in the Army. Would it matter if one was just an ordinary citizen….oh wait..one is but there was no headline saying: Ordinary citizen pleads guilty to assault. I’m sorry but I just don’t like how we have to use someone’s occupation.