Alleged Nuisance house shut down

June 2, 2008 9:34:06 PM PDT
A house is the first property in Wilmington to be shut down under Delaware's nuisance abatement act. Attorney General Joseph Biden the 3rd said the act allows the state "to file civil action, not criminal action, and ask the court to shut the property down, unless the owner becomes responsible for their property."

In this case, the attorney general says that never happened. Over a one year period, police were called to William Murphy's home in the Canby Park section of Wilmington 21 times.

Photographs show what police say they found --guns, drugs, even a live grenade. They also allege prostitution was taking place inside the home.

"I do drugs. I don't sell them," the owner told Action News. 54 year old William Murphy, says he rents out rooms to boarders and that the a're behind any illegal activity. He says he has not been charged with those crimes.

Asked if some of his boarders deal and use drugs, Murphy said they did, but again said he didn't deal drugs. When asked if prostitution was going on at the house, he said he didn't think so.

Murphy's home is right around the corner from a school, which the Attorney General says also played a role in their pursuit of the property. "When you have a bad property in an otherwise safe neighborhood, it affects the whole neighborhood, morale and most importantly, safety," said Biden.

"I'm glad. If he's leaving, let him leave," said Linda Carbajal. Carbajal, a mother of two, who lives nearby, says she's glad with the court's decision to close the doors to the Murphy home. "It would be safer for kids to be outside because they're always drinking and drugs and stuff like that," she said.

Murphy says he's in the process of moving out. But, he says he's going to fight the state to remain the owner of the home so he can sell it. Otherwise, the state will take over the deed.