Sentencing delayed in Boy Scout death case; attorney claims jury misconduct, new evidence
Wednesday was supposed to be sentencing day for the man convicted in the drunk driving death of 12-year-old Boy Scout – instead Thomas Murphy once again walked out of the Suffolk Courthouse and went home.
Murphy was convicted in December of driving drunk and then plowing into a group of Boy Scouts in Manorville, killing Andrew McMorris.
Murphy's sentencing had already been pushed back several times because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In court Wednesday, the defense filed a motion to have the guilty verdict thrown out.
Attorney Steven Politi says new witnesses have 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.
In court, the judge said he received a letter from another juror who says there was no misconduct. Furthermore, that person told the judge they were contacted by the defense attorney, and by an investigator, who were trying to gather evidence that could be used to file an appeal.
To that, Politi said he has the right to talk to jurors and will not stop until his client's name is cleared.
“I believe the judge will grant my motion to set aside the verdict, and then hopefully Tom can get a fair trial,” said Politi.
For John McMorris and his wife Alisa, their nearly two-year pursuit of justice continues.
“It's been 700 days since Andrew passed, and we still can't get justice,” said John McMorris.
“Take your sentence. Give some honor back to your family and let Andrew rest in peace,” said Alisa McMorris.
A hearing on the defense's motion is scheduled to begin Sept. 16. If Murphy's conviction holds, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years behind bars.