RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Holbrook man accused of driving drunk and plowing into a pack of Boy Scouts, killing one of them, was found guilty Wednesday.
The verdict was reached during the first full day of deliberations. Andrew McMorris, 12, was struck and killed when Murphy, who admitted drinking at a golf course, drove into a troop of Boy Scouts on Oct. 1, 2018.READ MORE: Storm Watch: Officials Hoping To Avoid Repeat Of Ida With Preparations For Nor'easter
Thomas Murphy was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter.
Murphy released on bail Jan 21 for pre sentencing motions
— Carolyn Gusoff (@GusoffTV) December 18, 2019
If you add up the hours the jury deliberated, the jurors took less than one day to decide plowing into a pack of Boy Scouts on a hike was not an innocent car accident, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Jurors sided with the prosecutors who said Murphy was intoxicated when he hit the group of young boys. There were hugs in the courtroom and tears outside for the parents of Andrew McMorris in their long-awaited moment of justice.
Watch: McMorris Family Speaks Out After Verdict:
“This was a completely unnecessary process for us to have to go through,” Alisa McMorris, Andrew’s mother, said tearfully after the verdict. “To make our pain and our loss a thousand times, a million times worse. For what could’ve happened, we trusted the judicial system and it served justice for Andrew and for the entire Troop 161.”
“God bless the DA’s office and the jury for seeing what really happened that day. To speak the truth, and let the truth prevail. The truth did prevail today. God bless the DA’s office, the jury, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Shoreham-Wading River community,” father John McMorris added.
Watch: Murphy’s Defense Attorney Speaks Out After Verdict
Outside of court, Murphy was surrounded by family — none of whom would comment on the verdict.
“We disagree, we thought it should’ve been not guilty,” said defense attorney Steven Politi. “We don’t think the people proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury thought otherwise, and that’s their verdict. There are, in our opinion, dozens of things that were not done properly and we’ll be appealing all of them.”READ MORE: NYPD: Man Shot Inside Union Square Subway Station
Murphy’s defense team had argued the 60-year-old disabled chief financial officer was so large, three shots of vodka on a golf course was not enough to make him legally drunk.
Politi said Murphy was upset by the verdict.
“He doesn’t believe he committed any crimes. He was a bit stunned and upset,” Politi said.
Murphy was released on bail and will be back in court on Jan. 21 for pre-sentencing motions.
Over the course of five weeks, the jury had nine charges to consider, including lesser charges if they didn’t find Murphy was legally intoxicated but was impaired.
Five women and seven men decided Murphy’s fate on a top charge that carries an 8- to 25-year sentence.
The jury had a long laundry list of requests answered, Gusoff reported.
After five weeks of testimony, the jury focused on key witnesses, asking for read back of testimony from golf buddies who provided conflicting opinions on whether Murphy was OK to drive after drinking vodka on a golf course.
The location of the boys was at the heart of the case. The defense contended they were in the road when Andrew McMorris was struck and killed.
The jury also listened to rereading of testimony from the cop who said after the crash Murphy had a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unable to balance.MORE NEWS: Exclusive: CBS2 Cameras On Hand At Unannounced Security Screenings At Troubled New York City High Schools
They also listened to the testimony of Dr. Jimmy Valentine, the expert who called Murphy’s .13 blood-alcohol reading four hours after the crash flawed.