RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was key testimony Wednesday in the trial of the driver who allegedly plowed into a pack of Boy Scouts last year, killing one of them.
A friend of Thomas Murphy testified he was in no condition to drive after drinking vodka and eating nothing during a round of golf right before the crash, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Witnesses to the crash said Murphy, the driver, asked over and over again, “Are the boys okay?” But according to a Boy Scout leader who was on the fateful hike, “I felt his concern was more for himself.”
The fact Murphy, 60, is even on trial after repeatedly apologizing but refusing to plead guilty has the mother of the victim, 12-year-old Andrew McMorris, who perished in the crash, disgusted and speaking out.
“My heart breaks every day for my immeasurable loss of my child and today it breaks so much more over what these poor boys and men have to go through and relive this nightmare over and over again,” Alisa McMorris said.
Assistant Scout Master Bob Dougherty testified, “The boys were not allowed in the road” and were told to “hug the grass,” adding they were “never in the lane of travel.”
The defense pointed out how narrow the shoulder was where the boys were walking, suggesting the hike was unsafe and did not follow scouting safety rules.
“The boys were allowed to freely flow, change positions. The adults changed positions as the conversations flowed and the original order of the hike is not something that was kept,” defense attorney Steven Politi said.
The defense contends Murphy, who stayed at the scene, was not drunk when his SUV struck four Boy Scouts. He admitted to consuming three drinks of vodka on the golf course before driving into the children.
A golf buddy took the stand late in the day and told the jury his friend “Murph” was slurring his words on the golf course, and bought more vodka on the 16th hole.
“I thought he had too much already,” he said.
That friend also testified that Murphy had trouble walking to his car. He said he told Murphy he was not fit to drive and offered to drive him home, but Murphy refused, claiming he had only two drinks.