Holbrook man convicted in DWI crash that killed Boy Scout seeking new trial

Thomas Murphy claims misconduct by prosecutors and judicial bias swayed the jury that convicted him of aggravated vehicular homicide.

May 12, 2023, 4:34 PM

Updated 377 days ago

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The Holbrook man convicted of driving drunk and killing a Boy Scout wants a new trial.
Thomas Murphy claims misconduct by prosecutors and judicial bias swayed the jury that convicted him of aggravated vehicular homicide.
"On more than one occasion, the prosecutor indicated and stated to the jurors there is no separating emotion in this case, whereas what we're supposed to by telling the jury is that sympathy can play no part, you have to analyze the facts free from emotion," says Murphy's attorney, Steve Politi.
In 2019, Murphy was found guilty in the death of 12-year-old Andrew McMorris, who was hiking with his troop in Manorville at the time of the accident.
Andrew McMorris' mother Alisa McMorris says her family is devastated and frustrated that Murphy is seeking a new trial. She says the move has opened old wounds for her family.
"What it feels like is a 747 airline just crashed in my backyard and full of all the trauma and baggage of that day and the trial all in one is blowing up in my backyard and no one knows about it," Alisa McMorris says.
Politi says throughout the trial, the judge on numerous occasions was either crying or very upset by the testimony and that he was incapable of being impartial.
Alisa McMorris says the trial was emotional but that everything said in the courtroom was factual.
"This was a violent crash - he had a choice not to drink, he has a choice not to get in the car, he was offered a sober ride, he should have taken it," Alisa McMorris says. "And I'm angry about that because Andrew should still be here. We shouldn't have to do this."
The decision on the appeal could come as soon as June.
Murphy had been sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
Alisa McMorris is currently pushing for passage of legislation to lower the threshold for blood alcohol content to .05. She is also fighting for passage of Andrew's Law, which would enable consecutive sentences for vehicular crimes that result in multiple victims.


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