Family of Boy Scout fatally hit by drunk driver waiting for pandemic-delayed sentencing
Courts are beginning to reopen statewide, welcome news for the family members awaiting sentencing of the drunk driver who killed a Boy Scout.
It's been more than two years since Alisha McMorris' 12-year-old son Andrew was struck and killed while walking with his Boy Scout troop in Manorville.
Thomas Murphy was convicted of the crime in December, but remains free because he has not yet been sentenced.
"He's sitting on his couch, kicked back, and probably drinking his face off still, and this family is still suffering without justice," says McMorris' lawyer.
The entire court system shut down in March due to the coronavirus. Shortly after, some proceedings were held virtually for arraignments and felony exams. But months later, there are still no grand juries assembling to consider indictments, and there are no trials because no one has been called for jury duty.
Defense attorney Bruce Barket says it's not just victims' families waiting for justice, but people who are currently in jail and legally presumed innocent.
"This idea that we can shut down the court system indefinitely in my view is absurd," says Barket.
The decision of when juries return to courthouses is up to the state's Unified Court System. On Thursday, a spokesman said it's "all still in the discussion angle" and that it "comes down to people have to feel comfortable coming in, being in a room with others."
The district attorneys in Nassau and Suffolk counties have said they are continuing virtual operations to the greatest extent possible to ensure the rights of victims and the accused.
McMorris is hoping to move forward as soon as possible.
"People like me and my husband and my daughter and my community, can't move past this grief until this is done, and we need to move past this," she says.
Steve Politi, attorney for Thomas Murphy, issued a statement to News 12: