A Franklin County man charged with threatening and robbing a St. Clair area woman at gunpoint in February has been given a 10-year suspended sentence and placed on five years’ probation.

Michael B. Murphy, 39, pleaded guilty Friday in court to a charge of first-degree burglary. A first-degree robbery charge was dropped as part of a plea bargain.

Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said he agreed to the plea bargain, citing “difficulties” with the case.

“We ran into difficulties in prosecuting the case,” Parks told The Missourian Monday. “So we took what we could get and went along with the suspended sentence.”

Parks did not provide details about the difficulties that the case presented.

Murphy remains in custody on charges that he violated probation in 2007 and 2009 felony cases in which he pleaded guilty to separate burglary and drug-related charges.

“We will be asking for his probation to be revoked in those cases and that he be ordered to serve those sentences in the penitentiary,” Parks said.

“However, I can’t say what the judge will do,” he added.

In the latest case, Murphy was accused of entering a home in the 4000 block of North Virginia Mines Road, southeast of St. Clair, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and threatening a woman who was in bed.

The homeowner told deputies that a man, who she is familiar with, entered her home about 2:17 a.m. and put a handgun to her head and demanded money. He then pulled the trigger several times but the gun did not fire, according to the victim’s statement to deputies.

The man then took some cash from the bedroom and fled out the back door.

Deputies searched the area but did not find him.

The victim identified the suspect for deputies who then obtained a warrant for his arrest on the felony charges.

Murphy was arrested several days later in Jefferson County and taken into custody.

The Missouri Department of Corrections website shows that Murphy currently is on parole/probation for second-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.

He also has a pending felony case in St. Louis County in which he is charged with one count each of drug trafficking and felony possession of a controlled substance in August 2011.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in that case after he failed to make a recent court appearance, according to online court records.

Murphy has been in and out of the state penitentiary since 2006, according to the MDC website.