Attorney for Thomas Murphy held in contempt of court
The defense attorney for the man convicted of driving drunk and killing a 12-year-old Boy Scout was held in contempt of court Wednesday during a hearing.
The hearing involves the case of Thomas Murphy, who was convicted in December of driving drunk and then hitting a group of Boy Scouts in Manorville, killing Andrew McMorris.
News 12's Shari Einhorn reports that attorney Steven Politi was confrontational with the judge for two hours and was almost handcuffed. He now faces a $1,000 fine.
Politi argued that he wasn't able to properly do his job after one of his key witnesses wasn't allowed into the courthouse because he had been in contact with a family member who is now in quarantine. The judge instead insisted Politi call one of the many other witnesses who had been subpoenaed, and he refused.
Murphy's sentencing had already been pushed back several times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When he was set to be sentenced last month, the defense filed a motion to have the guilty verdict thrown out.
Politi said new witnesses surfaced who saw the boys dangerously walking in the road. The defense also alleges jury misconduct, claiming the case was discussed outside of deliberations and that jurors read news reports about it.
On the stand, one juror and two alternate jurors testified that there were comments and statements made about witness testimony when the jury was not deliberating. There was also testimony that during the trial, one juror shared with the rest of the group information he had read in a newspaper.
"I feel awful for the victim's parents. I feel awful for the little boy, but that doesn't affect my job," says Politi. "I have a job to do and it's to represent Mr. Murphy and make sure he gets a fair trial."
If Murphy's conviction holds, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars.
Alisa McMorris says her family has been devastated that the man convicted of killing their 12-year-old son two years ago still hasn't been sentenced.
"This is a terrible display of what should have ended years ago. Years – we're in years now. It'll be two years. It's a shame," says Alisa McMorris.
"They have compounded that trauma that we go through every single day. Compound it doublefold. They compound it day after day after day. And it's cruel and it's senseless and it's evil," says John McMorris, Andrew's father.