Prosecutors: Man was drunk at golf course before crash killed Boy Scout

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

The man accused of crashing into Boy Scout Troop 161 in Manorville, killing one of them, last month was arraigned Tuesday on upgraded charges.

Thomas Murphy, of Holbrook, is now facing charges that include aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, aggravated DWI and reckless endangerment.

The incident occurred on David Terry Road on Sept. 30. Police say the Scouts were walking single file on the shoulder of the road when they were struck by a Mercedes driven by Murphy.

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Five boys, who are between 12 and 16 years old, were taken the hospital. Andrew McMorris, 12, was killed.

Prosecutors revealed in court that Murphy’s blood alcohol level was .13 hours after the crash. They say Murphy began drinking vodka at 9 a.m. at the Swan Lake Golf Club in Manorville. When he went to leave, a sober patron offered to drive him but Murphy refused.

The Boy Scouts were then run down about a mile and a half from the Golf Club.

After the crash, prosecutors say Murphy stayed at the scene and smelled of alcohol. They say he was unsteady on his feet and refused a Breathalyzer.

Murphy's blood was drawn hours later, and prosecutors say his blood alcohol at that point was .13 – it’s estimated it was .19 at the time of the crash.

District Attorney Tim Sini spoke after the arraignment saying that his office was “committed to handling this case most professionally and most efficiently.”

“This defendant will be held accountable for his action. Nothing will bring Andrew back, but we will obtain justice.”

Through his lawyer, Thomas Murphy released a statement:

"A beautiful, wonderful child lost his life. I can never make that right. To the parents and family of Andrew McMorris, I want to express my deepest sorrow, sympathy and prayers. I am a parent. I know that nothing can fill the void left by the death of your beloved son. I am so very sorry.”

He also apologized for injuring the other boys he injured in the incident.

The statement closes with: "It is my ultimate intention to accept responsibility for my role in this tragic accident, so that perhaps, the healing for the victims, especially the McMorris family, will not be delayed by my court proceeding."

Murphy pleaded not guilty to the upgraded charge. If convicted of the top charge, Murphy faces 25 years in prison. He is due back in court in November.

The courtroom was packed with family members of the injured and members of the Boy Scouts.

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