WILMINGTON - The girlfriend of a Wilmington man whose life was cut short following a deadly struggle with state police says her boyfriend had a big heart and big plans for the future.
During a recent interview with the Enterprise at her Wilmington home, Amanda Murphy described Richard "Joey" Aubin as a man who was finding peace with the world. Aubin was shot three times by a state trooper on March 7 after he allegedly grabbed for another trooper's holstered gun during a fight in North Hudson that followed a high speed chase. Aubin has since been laid to rest, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
He was 28 years old.
Amanda Murphy, left, with her boyfriend Richard “Joey” Aubin at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center.
(Photo provided by Amanda Murphy)
Sitting in her kitchen, Murphy said Aubin longed to be a father. Next to her, a laptop screen saver scrolled through countless photos of Aubin. In some, he is working at the state Olympic Regional Development Authority's bobsled, luge and skeleton track at Mount Van Hoevenburg; in others, he's just goofing around with Declan, Murphy's 7-year-old son.
"He was an amazing guy," Murphy said. "He loved his work. He used to dream about it all the time. He'd be talking in his sleep about sliding. And when he wasn't at work sliding, he was taking my kid sledding. He loved kids. He just wanted to have a family, get married and settle down.
"We were planning on starting a family and getting married."
Murphy first met Aubin at a friend's house a little more than a year ago. She said they "instantly connected," and not long after, he moved in with her.
Aubin formed a close relationship with Declan, often referring to him as his son. Murphy said Aubin used his paycheck to buy hockey equipment for Declan, and the two spent countless hours at local hockey games.
When Aubin had a day off, he and Murphy would ski together at Whiteface.
"It was the first time ever I went down black diamonds," Murphy said. "He also couldn't wait for spring to start playing baseball. Anything physical - he loved physical activities."
Murphy called Aubin a "total jokester" who had a zest for life. She said he woke up early - around 4 a.m. - to get ready for work, always with a smile on his face.
"I'm not a morning person, so he used to joke and do stupid, silly things just to make me smile," Murphy said. "He actually got my son to be a morning person. Declan didn't have to be on the bus until 7:15, but we'd wake him up at quarter-to-five so he could eat breakfast with Joey before work. ... I don't know very many kids that want to wake up hours early just to eat breakfast and say goodbye."
Murphy said Aubin was open about his troubled past, which included stints in prison for burglary and drunken driving. She said he talked about his mistakes and was determined to make up for his wrongs.
"I didn't know the other person: I saw a great man who wanted to be with his family," Murphy said. "It was horrible for him. He used to have nightmares of prison. He'd wake up in the middle of the night. He swore he was going to change his life around. He knew he did wrong."
Since Aubin's death, Murphy said she's heard from many people who knew and loved him.
"His family is really supportive as well," she said. "I stayed in his room at his parents' (in AuSable Forks) for the first four days after he died. They call my son their grandson."
Murphy said she'll remember Aubin for his smile and his positive outlook.
"I don't think anybody is going to be able to make me laugh like he did," she said, fending off tears. "He was a really good guy. Caring. He was very good-looking, and normally the good-looking guys are jerks. He wasn't. He cared about other people."
Declan said he misses Aubin.
"I miss him more than anybody," he said. "He was a good guy. ... We had fun."
Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.