Friday July 20, 2012

LEE-- An Otis teenager has denied police allegations that he was driving drunk when his car smashed into the outside deck of a home in Lee earlier this week.

On Thursday, Shawn Murphy, 18, was arraigned in Southern Berkshire District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to one count each of operating under the influence of alcohol, a minor in possession of alcohol, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Based on a Breathalyzer test, Lee Police claim that Murphy had a blood-alcohol content of 0.123. The legal limit in Massachusetts is 0.08.

Judge Paul Vrabel ordered Murphy released pending a pretrial conference Aug. 16. Murphy has been free on his own behalf since Lee police arrested him Monday night. He didn’t have to post $250 bail as previously reported, according to court officials.

Murphy was supposedly drunk when he crashed his 1995 Jeep Wrangler into the deck off the kitchen of the Grady residence at 75 Via Maria, police said. Karen Grady was on the back side of the deck when the crash occurred around 10:15 p.m. on Monday, but she escaped unharmed.

Eyewitnesses have told police that Murphy sped off in his damaged vehicle, only to be stopped by state police 20 minutes later as he was turning onto Tyringham Road near the Big Y supermarket.

Authorities claim they found several beer cans in the Jeep as they arrested the teenager.

The case remains under investigation, including how the 18-year-old came into possession of the beer he was allegedly carrying, because the state’s legal drinking age is 21.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.