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 the last time
The man who allegedly drove into a group of Boy Scouts, killing a 12-year-old and injuring others, during a drunken accident on Long Island last year rejected a plea deal for at least the third time Thursday, once again frustrating the boy's parents who must now wait for him to stand trial.
Thomas Murphy left a packed courtroom without comment; his trial is expected to begin next month. 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 Thursday marks at least the third time he walked out of court free on bail after refusing to plead guilty.
The most recent time was just last month at a hearing where a Suffolk County judge blasted Murphy in front of the dead child's family and friends.
"At this point, I am out of patience," Suffolk Acting Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho said in April. "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."
Compounding the family's frustration -- Murphy's lawyer had repeatedly pledged he would pleaded guilty. Every time they fill the courtroom. And every time he walks out without acknowledging what he did.
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 last month. "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."
Murphy's attorney, Stephen McCarthy, read a statement on his client's behalf at the April hearing, saying, "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. The top count against Murphy carries up to 25 years in prison.