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DA Sini: Holbrook Man Indicted in Connection with Motor Vehicle Crash that Killed Boy Scout

Defendant Thomas Murphy, 59, allegedly had BAC of .19% at time of crash.

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SCPD arrested Thomas Murphy of Holbrook, 59, for DWI.

Photo by: Suffolk County Police Department

Central Islip, NY - October 17, 2018 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the indictment of Thomas Murphy, 59, of Holbrook, in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred on September 30 in Manorville that caused the death of Andrew McMorris, 12, of Wading River.
“Nothing will bring Andrew back, but we will obtain justice in this case on behalf of the families and Troop 161,” District Attorney Sini said. “My office is committed to handling this case most professionally and most efficiently to ensure that this defendant is held accountable for his actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and the entire Boy Scout community in the wake of this tragedy.”
Murphy is indicted on 16 criminal charges in connection with the fatal crash, including three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a B felony; Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a C felony; Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree, a C felony; Assault in the Second Degree, a D violent felony; Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a D felony; Vehicular Assault in the First Degree, a D felony; two counts of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, an E felony; Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor; Driving While Intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor; two counts of Assault in the Third Degree, an A misdemeanor; Reckless Driving, an unclassified misdemeanor; and Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, an A misdemeanor.
Murphy was arraigned on the indictment today in front of Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Murphy posted bond in the amount of $500,000 following his arraignment on October 1, which was transferred to the indictment. Murphy’s license was suspended for driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or above and for gross negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle.
On September 30 shortly before 2 p.m., Murphy was leaving Swan Lake Golf Club to drive home after allegedly drinking alcohol since approximately 9 a.m. An investigation revealed that the defendant was approached by an individual in the parking lot who offered to drive Murphy home due to his intoxicated state. Murphy allegedly refused.
Murphy was driving southbound on David Terry Road when his vehicle veered toward a group of 12 Boys Scouts and six Scout leaders from Troop 161 who were walking northbound on the on the shoulder of the roadway.
Murphy allegedly struck the group with his vehicle, causing serious physical injury to Thomas Lane, 15, of Shoreham, and causing injury to Denis Lane, 16, of Shoreham, and Kaden Lynch, 15, of Calverton. McMorris, who was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center and then transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition following the crash, succumbed to his injuries on October 1.
Murphy was arrested immediately following the crash by Suffolk County Police Seventh Precinct officers, who observed that Murphy had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, had slurred speech, had watery, bloodshot and glassy eyes, and was unsteady on his feet. Murphy refused a roadside breath test and was transported to the Seventh Precinct, where he refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood.
The District Attorney’s Office secured a warrant for a chemical test of Murphy’s blood that revealed a blood alcohol content level of 0.13 percent, which was extrapolated to an estimated 0.19 percent at the time of the crash.
If convicted of the top count, Murphy faces a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison.
Murphy is due back in court on November 27.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jacob Delauter, of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.