RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Testimony is winding down in the trial of a man accused of driving drunk and plowing into a pack of boy scouts, killing one of them.
The defense continued its case Thursday in the drunk driving trial of Thomas Murphy, the Holbrook man accused of striking and killing 12-year-old Boy Scout Andrew McMorris, reports CBSN New York’s Carolyn Gusoff.READ MORE: Retired FDNY Firefighter Suffering From 9/11-Related Illness In Need Of Lifesaving Bone Marrow Transplant
This fifth week of testimony was expected to see the very last witness, but there is yet another delay as the defense is flying in another expert witness to cast doubt on Murphy’s blood alcohol level.
Murphy faces eight to 25 years if the jury believes he was drunk when he rammed into the scouts hiking on the shoulder of a Suffolk County wooded road.
He admits he was drinking of the golf course, but earlier this week a defense expert poked holes in the prosecution’s claim that Murphy’s blood-alcohol level was a .13.
The defense cites errors in drawing and storing the blood, preparing and administering the test and one of Murphy’s medical conditions, all of which created a “high likelihood of an inaccurate result,” according to the defense.
“Are you asking me if I think it was purposefully contaminated?” said defense attorney Steve Politi. “It’s possible. That’s for the jury to figure out.
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“There was a rush to judgment here, there was a conclusion drawn at 2:25 right after this unfortunate accident,” he said about his client. “There’s a lot of things that have gone on in the case that aren’t normal, that are not right – a lot of hiding of things. ‘Don’t look at this, ignore this.’ That’s what’s going on here.”
“It’s just agonizing to see another delay,” said John McMorris, father of the killed boy. “Another delay and we’re just trying to figure out how to cope and get through this horrible time, especially with Christmas right upon us and that was Andrew’s favorite holiday.
“We’re just trying to figure out how to get through another holiday without our son,” he said.
The parents of Andrew McMorris say the delays have become unbearable, saying they have no doubt Murphy was drunk when he struck their son four hours before blood was drawn.
In another possible complication, a juror was apparently seen Thursday in a courthouse conversation which gave the defense reason to say that could somehow impact the verdict.
The judge indicated that even if a juror had to be dismissed, there were plenty of alternate jurors available.MORE NEWS: New York Judge Suspends Father's Visitation Rights With Daughter Unless He Gets COVID Vaccine Or Subjects To Weekly Testing
The final witness is expected Friday and closing arguments expected on Monday.