Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: What happened to Del Paso Heights teen who beat cousin, buried her alive in backyard?

Q: What is the status of Caleb Murr, who was convicted of brutally beating his cousin Melanie Murr, then burying her alive in the backyard of his Del Paso Heights home?

Anonymous, Sacramento

A: Caleb Andrew Murr pleaded no contest to charges that he raped his cousin, 18-year-old Melanie Lynn Murr, on March 6, 1999, hit her over the head and buried her alive in his backyard.

Caleb Murr, who was 16 at the time of the slaying, was charged as an adult. According to a story in The Sacramento Bee, he was sentenced to 42 years to life in prison. As a condition of his plea agreement, he was to serve the first eight years in a state mental hospital before being transferred to prison.

Murr, now 33, is currently at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.

According to prosecution evidence, Melanie Murr was raped, then beaten over the head with a crowbar and a baseball bat, and placed in a hole dug in the backyard. An autopsy showed she had been buried alive.

Caleb Murr, who had a history of psychiatric problems, was prosecuted as an adult after a judge found him unfit for the juvenile justice system. The youth told mental health experts that he killed his cousin to rid himself of demons.

In finding Caleb Murr unfit for Juvenile Court, the judge said he believed Murr suffered from mental illness, but that the slaying was not entirely “an impulsive act.”

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy