GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A North Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Friday after being found guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon in two separate incidents including a hostage situation.

According to court documents, Matthew Leviticus Murphy, 32, forced his way into a home in Greensboro with a gun in the early morning of Nov. 21, 2020.

Matthew Leviticus Murphy
Matthew Leviticus Murphy (Forsyth County Detention Center)

Murphy pointed the gun at multiple people in the home including a three-year-old child and demanded that the family pretend to know him once the police arrived.

Police arrived and questioned Murphy and the hostages, a member of the family revealed that Murphy had threatened to “shoot them if they didn’t cooperate,” and Murphy was then arrested by officers.

On the evening of Jan. 21, 2021, Greensboro police made a traffic stop involving a car that Murphy was a passenger in.

Murphy attempted to hide a bag of white powder as officers approached the car. A search of the car found two additional bags of white powder, a gun and a large amount of cash. Lab tests would later confirm that the white powder contained fentanyl.

At the time of these crimes, Murphy had already been previously convicted on charges of felonious second-degree burglary and theft in 2006. Those charges resulted in a prison sentence of over a year.

Murphy was also convicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and burglary in 2012. While imprisoned, Murphy was convicted of malicious conduct by a prisoner in 2014 leading to extended prison time.

In light of these crimes, Murphy was a felon during his actions in 2020 and 2021, meaning it was illegal for him to have a gun.

Ultimately, the Hon. William L. Osteen Jr. sentenced Murphy to two consecutive 10-year terms in prison on Friday, a total of 20 years imprisonment. Murphy will be subject to three years of supervised release after he serves his time.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Veronica Edmisten.

The Greensboro Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also involved in the investigation of the case.