Thomas Murphy, the alleged drunk driver in the fatal crash that claimed the life of 12-year-old Boy Scout Andrew McMorris of Wading River on Sept. 30 will stand trial on multiple felony charges.
Murphy had been in plea negotiations with prosecutors but opted to plead not guilty in a court appearance today in Central Islip.
Pre-trial hearings begin on June 4, a spokesperson for District Attorney Timothy Sini said. The start date for the trial has not yet been set.
Murphy, 59, of Holbrook is facing aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated and other charges in connection with the crash.
Prosecutors say they believe Murphy had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, when he left Swan Lake Golf Club in Manorville and drove his car onto the shoulder of David Terry Road, striking Andrew and three other Boy Scouts out for a hike with their troop.
Murphy, who was arrested at the scene, refused a breathalyzer test as well as a chemical blood test, requiring prosecutors to obtain a court order to draw his blood. The blood test showed Murphy had a blood alcohol content of .13 percent. His blood alcohol content is “extrapolated to .19 at the time of the crash,” due to the passage of time, according to prosecutors.
About 150 supporters of the McMorris family filed into court this morning, many carrying photographs of the victim.
“When all this is over, I still don’t get my baby back,” Alisa McMorris, Andrew’s mother, said after the court proceeding. “Even after he serves his time, he gets to go home to his family and my baby doesn’t,” McMorris said, fighting back tears as she spoke to reporters at the courthouse.
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