Man sent to prison for delivering heroin to army sergeant who died.

October 10, 2016
Daniel Murphy (left) with his attorney, Gary Springstead.

Daniel Murphy (left) with his attorney, Gary Springstead.

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Man sent to prison for delivering heroin to army sergeant who died.

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 30-year-old Midland man convicted of heroin delivery was sentenced to one year and one day to 20 years in prison in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Oct. 10.

Daniel Ryan Murphy, who pleaded “no contest” last month, was originally charged with delivery of heroin causing death. The delivery of heroin causing death charge, which is punishable by up to life in prison, was dismissed as part of a plea deal, along with two counts of felony firearms.

Murphy delivered heroin to his friend, Jack Kinchen, 30, of Walkerville, who died Sept. 24, 2014 in Colfax Township. Kinchen was a US Army sergeant who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I miss my friend,” said Murphy, who expressed “deep regret” for Kinchen’s death. “I grew extremely close to him. I hope his family and my family can start to heal and get to a better place.”

Murphy had “no criminal history whatsoever” prior to his current case, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said previously. The two felony firearms charges were unrelated to the heroin charge, he said.

One of Kinchen’s family members addressed the court, reading a letter she had written and two letters written by other family members. Kinchen, also called “Sonny,” was “a person who loved life.” Another letter referred to his “contagious laughter and smile.”

“Daniel’s actions were not victimless,” stated one of the letters, which requested that Judge Anthony A. Monton impose the maximum sentence.

“Heroin is a drug that has ruined my family,” stated the family member. “This drug is disgusting, dirty and vile. This is not something Sonny would do.” She said that Kinchen taking “twice the legal dosage” is “ludicrous.” She continued, “I refuse to have him remembered as a junkie. There is a gaping hole in our family from this loss. I don’t have to tell Daniel what he has taken away from me and my family. I will live with this forever.”

“He’s a really thoughtful, nice young man,” stated Murphy’s attorney Gary Springstead. “He is surrounded by his family and friends, because they know what type of character he has,” adding that Murphy has “never been in trouble before. I don’t think we can emphasize enough how hard this is. He lost his best friend that day, and he is going to have live with this for the rest of his life.”

Monton said he “expressed great sympathy” to the family, adding that Kinchen served in the military with “great distinction.” The judge said that the case is an example of the growing heroin problem in our country. “These tragedies are everywhere — it’s a serious problem. If you look at Mr. Murphy’s background, you would never suspect. It’s just a great, great loss and tragedy.”

The judge said that both Kinchel’s wife and mother agreed to the plea agreement. Sentencing guidelines are 10-23 months. Murphy received credit for one day served in jail.

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