What to Know
- The alleged DWI driver accused of hitting a group of Boy Scouts on Long Island last year, killing one of them, once again made no plea deal
- Thomas Murphy's lawyer has pledged multiple times that his client would plead guilty but he has not; the family wants the legal agony to end
- "We were all given a life sentence. This man needs to be held accountable for what he did," the dead boy's father said after court Tuesday
A Long Island judge blasted the accused killer of a 12-year-old Boy Scout in front of the dead child's family and friends Tuesday, arguing the man's latest refusal to take a plea deal in the DWI crash was just another delay tactic.
"At this point, I am out of patience," Suffolk Acting Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho said. "This is nothing more than an attempt to delay the conclusion of this matter. I will not have it. There will be no more delays."
Thomas Murphy is accused of hitting five Boy Scouts as they walked along a Manorville street in September, killing Andrew McMorris. He was allegedly driving drunk at the time of the crash -- and at least twice has walked out of court free on bail after refusing to plead guilty in the boy's death.
The most recent time was in January. The family's frustration is in part the result of Murphy's repeated pledge to plead guilty -- a pledge his lawyer has made multiple times since cops say he rammed, drunk, into the group of hikers.
McMorris' family just wants an end to the legal agony.
"It's heartbreaking. Everything we've done is honorable," the boy's mother, Alisa McMorris said. "What this man is doing is not honorable. We need justice. He deserves his earthly consequences for what he did to my child and all of the Scouts."
The boy's father echoed his wife's sentiments, choking back tears as he said, "We were all given a life sentence. This man needs to be held accountable for what he did."
The courtroom was filled Tuesday with family and friends of victim Andrew McMorris just has it has been on other occasions. Some wore Boy Scout uniforms in solidarity; others held photos of the 12-year-old boy taken too soon.
Murphy is due back in court May 2. Should no plea deal be reached by that time, his trial would begin in June. The top count carries up to 25 years in prison.
His attorney, Stephen McCarthy, read a statement on Murphy's behalf after court Tuesday that said, in part, "I ask that those who come to court allow myself and my family the time to fully evaluate my case and my role in this tragic accident."
Murphy allegedly had been playing golf and drinking large amounts of vodka at Swan Lake Golf Club before he hit the group of boys on Sept. 30, prosecutors said. He was initially charged with DWI, but was later indicted on 16 criminal charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree manslaughter and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Murphy allegedly refused a ride from a colleague in the club’s parking lot before he locked himself in his car, according to prosecutors.
On his ride home, he swerved onto the shoulder of the road and drove into five scouts who were walking in a single-file line with parents and several other scouts, prosecutors said.
Andrew McMorris succumbed to his injuries. A 15-year-old boy was left with serious injuries, and a 16-year-old boy and two 15-year-olds suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to police.
Prosecutors say Murphy's blood alcohol level after the crash was nearly twice the legal limit. His driver's license was suspended, according to prosecutors.