A father of one who was on the brink of becoming a felon because he couldn’t pay a $983 fine received an early Christmas present, after a stranger paid the sum for him.
The Oregonian reported that Colin Murphy, a civil attorney, overheard a defense attorney and prosecutor having a discussion about their case 15 minutes before his was about to begin last week.
The defendant, Castor Majuro Conley, had been charged after he’d purchased a Nissan pickup truck from a thief. He then sold it to another individual, who in turn sold it for scrap.
After being ordered to pay $983 to the car’s owner for restitution, Conley informed the court that he didn’t have the money.
Murphy’s eaves-dropping led him to decipher that Conley was set to miss the chance to enter a plea deal that would mean he would be sentenced with a misdemeanor rather than a felony. This was where Murphy decided to step in and assist the stranger, who is married with a 17-month-old child.
Murphy was well aware that Oregon State Bar doesn’t allow an attorney to give money to a client, which is why he was willing to give his money to assist Conley’s plea.
Murphy explained to The Oregonian why he decided to aid Conley.
“All of us sometime in our lives have done something we would rather not have done. And the time will come when perhaps we are going to be held accountable. And I think at that point we would like to have somebody show us mercy.”
Castor Majuro Conley’s attorney, Lawrence Taylor, has since explained to ABC News that this was the first time he had ever witnessed such an act of generosity in his 22-year career.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this, not for even a smaller amount. This is unique and I’ve been practicing for 22 years.”
Taylor also explained how the transaction, which left him “stunned and in disbelief,” was conducted.
“He handed a personal check to me that day. I had never seen or heard of him.”
Conley’s plight had also been hampered by the fact that he had one misdemeanor on his record. A more serious felony would have led to Conley losing his job as well as serious hindering his efforts of future employment.
Taylor admitted that Conley was left rather emotional by Murphy’s effort. He is also hopeful that Conley will use this as a sign to improve his life for the better.
“He teared up a little bit during the sentencing and when he spoke to the judge. Only time will tell if it had the response that he needs; that is whether he will do something with his life that will justify it.”
[Image via ABC News]