Woman Stabbed to Death After Restraining Order Against Estranged Husband Rejected


A woman in Washington state who was denied a permanent restraining order against her estranged ex-husband was stabbed to death by him earlier this week, according to police.

Monica Murrah of Vancouver had filed the request for a permanent order with the court last year, which sought to keep her husband Michael Murrah, 45, away from her. That order was denied, but it is not clear when that ruling was made.

Police said that on Sunday, Michael stabbed Monica at a home they previously shared with their child. The victim later died from her injuries at a local hospital, KOIN-TV reported.

Michael was arrested when police said they found the man with what they believe was blood on his hands. He was allegedly holding a Bible during the slaying.

Police said the man waived his right to speak to an attorney.

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An arrest affidavit said Michael Murrah referred to his former wife as “starbeast” when speaking of her death, and that he admitted to taking her life.

He told investigators, per the court document, that he “killed starbeast to fulfill a prophecy.”

Vancouver Police said the man also told them he “killed his wife in ‘cold blood,’” and stated the couple had not gotten along since Monica became pregnant with their son. He is charged with first-degree murder.

KOIN reported Monica filed for divorce from Michael in July of 2020 and at that time filed for a restraining order against him, citing some allegedly troubling behavior. The outlet, citing police documents, reported Monica alleged her husband had previously threatened to kill himself.

She also told a court she feared for the safety of their son, whom she alleged had been physically and emotionally abused by the man.

The couple’s son, eight, was reportedly home when his mother was being stabbed.

“Michael has threatened suicide during arguments. One time he even grabbed a large knife and sat outside our bedroom threatening to kill himself. I’m terrified if he does, what if he kills me and our son also,” she wrote.

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Her request for a permanent restraining order was denied when Commissioner Carin Schienberg said Murrah did not provide enough evidence.

KOIN spoke to Schienberg this week about the order, and why it was not approved, but the outlet reported it was told, “No comment.”

A woman who runs the Clark County, Washington, YWCA expressed frustration over the denied protective order when speaking to KOIN.

“This should not have happened,” said YWCA executive director Dunetchka Otero-Serrano. “It takes a lot of bravery for a woman to come forward and ask for that protection and that should have been enough to protect her.”

Michael Murrah is expected to appear before a judge on Nov. 19.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.