What to Know
- An alleged drunk driver accused of hitting a group of Boy Scouts returned to court Tuesday as the mother of the boy who was killed spoke
- The driver, Thomas Murphy, was allegedly drinking vodka and playing golf before the incident, prosecutors said
- Murphy allegedly refused a ride from a colleague in the club’s parking lot before he locked himself in his car, according to prosecutors
The alleged drunk driver accused of hitting a group of Boy Scouts as they walked along a Long Island street —killing one of them — returned to court Tuesday after pleading not guilty in the crash last month.
This time, 59-year-old Thomas Murphy faced the boy's family and Boy Scout troops as 12-year-old Andrew McMorris' mother spoke publicly for the first time since her son's death in September.
"We're trying to get through the holidays without our child," said Alisa McMorris.
"Nothing runs through our mind except the loss of our child," she said.
Dozens of Scouts from McMorris' Troop 161 filled the hallway outside court, wearing red ribbons to honor the friend who dreamed of being a pilot.
Murphy's lawyer, Stephen McCarthy, again apologized on behalf of his client, saying, "A beloved and beautiful child has been taken from his family as we enter the holiday season. The pain of the McMorris family must be unimaginable."
"It is my intention to do my part to accept responsibility for my role in this tragedy," he continued on Murphy's behalf.
Murphy allegedly been playing golf and drinking large amounts of vodka at Swan Lake Golf Club in Manorville 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, police said. 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 has been suspended, according to prosecutors.
Murphy could face up to 25 years in prison if he's convicted of the top count, prosecutors said.