As the vehicular homicide case against Thomas Murphy winds to a close, prosecutors are looking to call one final witness.
Lee Polite, the founder and president of Axion Analytical Labs in Chicago, is expected to offer a rebuttal to defense testimony given by a colleague when the trial resumes Thursday. On Monday, Jimmie Valentine of Mississippi, a forensic toxicology expert and an instructor at Axion, told jurors there are several possibilities that could have caused Mr. Murphy’s blood alcohol content to register at 0.13% nearly four hours after the alleged drunken driving crash on David Terry Road in Manorville that claimed the life of 12-year-old Wading River resident Andrew McMorris and injured several of his fellow hikers.
Mr. Valentine, who told jurors the 60-year-old Holbrook man’s blood sample might not have been collected or stored properly, is likely to be the only witness called by the defense in the case, attorney Steven Politi said Tuesday.
That paves the way for closing arguments to be delivered in the case Friday and for the jury to begin deliberations Monday — the schedule Judge Fernando Camacho told jurors they should expect moving forward.
The defense had indicated it would call one final witness Tuesday but opted not to after a nearly hour-long conference with prosecutors in the judge’s chambers Tuesday morning. The defense, however, also declined to rest, leaving open a slim possibility it could also ask to call another witness Thursday. The jury was given Wednesday off.
COMPLETE TRIAL COVERAGE
Day 1: Prosecutors say Murphy turned down ride from sober friend moments before fatal crash
Day 2: Text messages, friend’s testimony tell a story of day of Scout crash
Day 3: Defense calls into question the character of key witness in Murphy trial
Day 4: Friends testify that despite drinking, Murphy did not appear drunk on day of crash
Day 5: Parents of surviving victims take stand
Day 6: Shoreham parent recounts moment of crash during testimony
Day 7: Jury sent home early as defense raises legal issue in Murphy trial
Day 8: Arresting officer testifies that Murphy showed signs of intoxication following crash
Day 9: Two more officers testify that Murphy was intoxicated on day of crash
Day 10: Two detectives take witness stand at Murphy trial
Day 11: Scientist who tested Murphy’s blood testifies it was over legal limit
Day 12: Toxicologist: Murphy’s BAC was twice legal limit; ordered to turn over notes
Day 13: Several charges could be withdrawn in case against Thomas Murphy
Day 14: Scout’s dad says ‘I ran as fast as I could’ to help son following crash
Day 15: Murphy defense begins to make its case as judge officially dismisses four charges