The sole suspect in the brutal bludgeoning death of 63-year-old Alice James on June 22, James' 56-year-old boyfriend Casey Murray, was scheduled for an arraignment two Fridays ago at which he was supposed to enter a plea. That arraignment appears to have been moved to July 23, according to county jail records.
Murray is being held without bail, as he has been since June 22, when he was found in his garage wearing blood-stained clothing and begging police to kill him. Officers were alerted to a potential crime when a friend of Murray's walked into a police station on the morning of the 22nd and said he thought Murray may have killed someone. Murray reportedly sent texts to the friend that Saturday morning saying of James that he "couldn’t take her abuse anymore," and that he "killed her, me next." As the Examiner reports, police went to James' home on the 500 block of Alvarado Street in Noe Valley and found her brutally beaten to death, with a bloodied wine bottle lying nearby.
Police then went to Murray's home on the 100 block of Aptos Avenue in the Balboa Terrace neighborhood, where they found Murray. (The Chronicle appears to have mis-reported that James and Murray were found in the same location on Aptos Avenue, and as SFist reported earlier, police arrived at two different crime scenes that morning.)
Prosecutors say that the last time anyone else saw Ms. James alive was at 11 p.m. on June 21, and Murray's texts began at 6:40 a.m. the next morning. He added "Fuck life" and "goodbye brother" to his friend.
When officers arrived and ordered Murray to his knees, he reportedly resisted, telling the police to shoot him. He was ultimately subdued and taken into custody, so in addition to murder and domestic abuse charges, he was charged with resisting arrest.
James' body was found in a pool of blood on her sofa with a crushed jaw, fractured skull, and dislocated airway and tongue, which could have led to suffocation. Domestic abuse victims' advocates say that the case was tragic but preventable, and early reports confirmed that James had previously contacted police to say she was in fear of Murray. It's unclear how long the couple had been dating or when the previous police call had taken place, but there is reportedly body camera footage of her discussing the matter. Murray had previous arrests on his record for domestic abuse and assault going back 20 years.
A commenter on an earlier Examiner story said that they knew Murray and that they had "86'd him from a bar" where they worked in the past.
Murray is being represented by the SF Public Defender's office, and it's not clear why his arraignment was delayed over three weeks.