Thomas Murphy

James Carbone/Newsday Pool Photos

Trial Date Set For LI Man Charged In Deadly Boy Scout Crash

June 11, 2019 - 3:28 pm

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A trial date has been set for the Long Island man accused of driving drunk and hitting a group of Boy Scouts, killing one, last year.

Despite Thomas Murphy apologizing for his “role” in the death of 12-year-old Andrew McMorris, the 60-year-old decided not to plead guilty last month to charges of vehicular homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, assault, vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Instead, he will go to trial on Sept. 18, nearly one year after he admitted to police that he had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages before climbing behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz.

His attorney argued Tuesday that statements made by Murphy on Sept. 30, 2018, should not be used at trial, but a judge ruled the statements – including Murphy’s refusal to take a breathalyzer and blood test – can be used.

Authorities say Murphy was drunk when he slammed his vehicle into a group of Boy Scouts on their way to a hike in Manorville. Prosecutors say Murphy had a blood alcohol level of more than 0.18 at the time of the crash.

In a statement previously released by Murphy’s lawyer, the 60-year-old said, “I take responsibility for my role in the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a wonderful boy.”

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During previous court appearances, Murphy had said he intended to take responsibility for his actions and not prolong the McMorris family's suffering.

Now, McMorris’ mother says she continues to grieve as she awaits justice for her son.

“That little boy is not here anymore and I have an empty room that's starting to lose his smell,” she told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “That's all I think about.”