Emotional testimony: Father of slain Boy Scout speaks in Riverhead court

The father of a 12-year-old Boy Scout took the stand Thursday in the trial of the alleged drunk driver accused of killing his son.

News 12 Staff

Dec 5, 2019, 10:55 PM

Updated 1,598 days ago

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The father of a 12-year-old Boy Scout took the stand Thursday in the trial of an alleged drunk driver accused of killing his son.
For more than an hour, John McMorris detailed the moments after Thomas Murphy hit his son and two other Boy Scouts with his car. At the time, McMorris was on a hike with the boys during the September 2018 afternoon.
"I was walking, and I heard a bunch of thumps,” he said in the Riverhead courtroom. “I saw objects flying in the air. I saw a boy on the ground. I ran as fast as I could then I realized it was my son."
McMorris says Murphy came over and with slurred speech said, "Are they going to be OK? Are they going to be OK? I said, ‘No, they're not going to be OK.’"
John McMorris’ wife Alisa said her husband was the “bravest man I know,” and hadn’t spoken about the incident until now.
Murphy’s attorney Steven Politi argued that the boys were poorly supervised and were walking in the street at the time.
Prosecutors say that's untrue. They say Murphy had been drinking vodka while playing golf shortly before the incident.
However, the judge said he may drop four of the 16 charges against the 60-year-old after he learned a criminologist didn't give the defense all of his notes about Murphy's blood alcohol content on the day of the crash.
Even if those charges are dropped, Murphy would potentially face the same prison sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years, if convicted.
"They've advanced this false narrative for 14, going on 15 months about the facts of the case and piece by piece, you're starting to see that it's not what they said it was," said Politi.
The defense will call its first witness on Monday morning. The witness is expected testify about the blood sample taken from Murphy.


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