Matt Murphy grew up in L.A. and went to UCSB for college. While there, he worked at the Devereaux Foundation for developmentally disabled children.
At the beginning of his Junior year, Matt organized a sexual assault education program for incoming fraternity and sorority members. The program was well received by the University (which provided funding), the PanHellenic Counsel (which provided the incoming freshmen), and we received attention from the California State Legislature which sponsored an unsuccessful bill to require all State and UC Schools to include similar educational presentations to all students. During his Senior year, Matt Murphy was commended with the Chancellor’s Senior Excellence Award for Co-curricular Activity. He graduated with honors in 1990 and then spent 9 months surfing Australia, Indonesia, and the South Pacific.
Mr. Murphy enrolled in the University of San Diego School of Law, and in the summer of 1991 and studied International Law and Comparative Law at University of Sorbonne in Paris. He received the American Jurisprudence Award in both classes. His high academic standing and work in a colligate Sexual Assault program caught the attention of several private law firms, the FBI, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Recruited by all three, Matt Murphy decided to become a prosecutor.
He was sworn in as a Deputy District Attorney in December of 1993. Starting in Juvenile Court, Mr. Murphy worked in Municipal Court, Juvenile Gangs, and the Felony Panel where he tried 24 felony jury trials in one year. He was then moved to the Sexual Assault Unit where he spent three and a half years prosecuting rapists and child molesters. During his time in Sexual Assault, Mr. Murphy tried fifteen felony sexual assault cases and had had his first experiences with the media.
In 2002 Mr. Murphy was promoted to the Homicide Unit where he was assigned the Cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine. Although murders in those cities are relatively rare, when they do happen, they tend to be twisted and newsworthy. Unlike many other agencies, Orange County Homicide prosecutors actually attend the crime scenes, observe the autopsies, and make their own filing decisions. One of two designated “cold case” deputies, Mr. Murphy tried several, decades old, high-profile murder cases which garnered national attention.
Mr. Murphy also spent 13 years as a member of the OCDA Special Circumstances Committee. The committee reviews each special circumstance murder case and makes a formal recommendation to the elected District Attorney whether or not to seek the death penalty. Mr. Murphy also formally reviewed dozens of officer involved shootings and custodial deaths.
Matt Murphy has trained prosecutors for the California Department of Justice, the California District Attorneys Association, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He was an adjunct professor for 7 years at Western State College of Law, and has lectured on trial tactics at Chapman and Whittier Law Schools. In 2017, Mr. Murphy was invited to give homicide presentations to the Crown Prosecutor’s Offices of New Zealand and Western Australia. He became a sought-after speaker regarding complex murder trials, the tactics of cross examination, and effective closing arguments. Mr. Murphy has tried over 200 criminal cases to verdict, including well over 100 jury trials.
Matt Murphy spent 17 years as a Senior Deputy District Attorney in the OCDA Homicide Unit, and successfully prosecuted dozens of murder cases. During that time, Mr. Murphy also tried some of the most interesting, complex, and difficult cases in Orange County. He successfully prosecuted cases against some of the finest and most experienced defense lawyers in the country.
Notable Media Appearances
“The Women & Dirty John” Dateline (2018)
“Couple Vanishes After Trying to Sell Yacht- Crime Watch Daily (2018) People v. Skyler Deleon
“The Torrez Case” The Price of Duty (2018), Oxygen Network, People v. Samuel Lopez
“The Green Eyed Monster” The Perfect Murder (2018) People v. Judy Valot
Crime and Justice with Ashleigh Banfield, HLN (2018) People v. Andrew Urdiales
“Killer Performance” 48 Hours (2016) People v. Daniel Wozniak
“Murder in Apartment 410” 20/20 (2016) People v. Daniel Wozniak
“Curtain Call” The Perfect Murder (2016) People v. Daniel Wozniak
“Millionaire Murder” The Perfect Murder (2014) People V. Erik Naposki
“In Search of the Truth” 20/20 on Investigation Discovery (2014) People v. Skylar Deleon