Herbert E. Murray, 75, a retired judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland who also had served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court and the Magistrate's Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, died July 12 at Church Home Hospital in Baltimore. He had Parkinson's disease.
A native of Waltham, Mass., Judge Murray grew up in the Boston area. In World War II, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and rose to the rank of captain. He flew 36 combat missions as a navigator aboard B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bombers in the Mediterranean Theater. His military decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross and three awards of the Air Medal.
After the war, Judge Murray graduated from Yale University. He attended Harvard Law School and the University of Maryland law school, from which he received his degree in 1951. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore before joining the law firm of Smith, Somerville & Case in 1956.
He remained with the firm until he was appointed to the bench by President Richard M. Nixon in 1971. He took senior judge status in 1988 and retired for reasons of health in 1994.
Notable cases over which Judge Murray presided included the trial of Ronald W. Pelton, who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Among the secrets he betrayed was the existence of a National Security Agency tap on a Soviet underwater cable in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Another defendant in Judge Murray's court was Marilyn Harrell, convicted of defrauding the Department of Housing and Urban Development of $5.7 million. After claiming she intended to give the money to the poor, she was nicknamed "Robin HUD."
Judge Murray was a member of the American Judicature Society, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Maryland Historical Society and the Civil War Roundtable.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jane Ward Murray of Baltimore; a son, Douglas F. Murray of Owings Mills, Md.; and two granddaughters.