MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The case against an ex-Prichard Police officer accused of murder is now headed to a grand jury. Judge George Zoghby making the ruling Wednesday morning.
Investigators say defendant Jonathan Murphy shot and killed his neighbor Larry Taylor just days before Christmas. The two lived at Avalon Plaza Apartments. According to testimony Taylor lived above Murphy, who was also the courtesy officer at the complex.
Mobile Police were dispatched short after 10 p.m. December 21st after multiple witnesses called 911. They'd tell investigators the two got into a verbal argument, then a physical altercation -- with Murphy head-butting Taylor at one point -- which would explain the bandage in Murphy's mugshot.
Court records show the two had an ongoing feud over "loud music" among other things.
According to testimony Wednesday -- the argument began with the two men yelling at each other Taylor from above and Murphy on the ground level. The investigator in the case -- told the court -- based on witness testimony Taylor eventually went down and the argument between the two turned physical.
Taylor eventually went back up to his apartment. According to the officer -- at that time Taylor's girlfriend came out and witnessed Murphy pointing a gun up towards the apartment near the stairs. The officer said she went down and pleaded with Murphy to call police -- and said Murphy told her "I am the police."
Moments later -- the girlfriend and other witnesses said Taylor appeared in the door, where he was shot and killed. The officer said witnesses heard at least three shots. Taylor was shot at least twice.
The officer also testified, minutes before Taylor was shot and killed in his doorway -- Murphy had also dialed 911 at 10:14 p.m. requesting Mobile Police respond -- claiming Taylor was harassing him.
Murphy's attorney Jeff Deen -- making his case before Judge Zoghby.
"I just don't think officer Murphy is guilty of anything... You can take that for what it's worth. I think it's a terrible situation. I feel sorry for everyone involved, but he's doing his job as a courtesy officer. And there's plenty of officers who have gotten killed over domestic stuff... People arguing and stuff," said Deen.
"Obviously, today was a very limited hearing just for probable cause purposes - the judge made that determination. And also our contention is this was not a self defense case," said Prosecutor on the case.
There was an autopsy and toxicology tests performed on Taylor. Those results have not yet been completed.
Meanwhile, back in 2017 -- Murphy shot and killed a man during a traffic stop. He was on duty at the time. No charges were filed in that case.