Sister of dead MoDOT worker frustrated that trial is taking so long

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. –  A Blue Springs lawyer charged with killing a MoDOT worker in a drunk driving crash in September still has not gone to trial, and the family of Clifton Scott is frustrated with the process.

David Murdick, 35, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection to the Sept. 21 drunken driving accident that took the life of Scott, 50, — a MoDOT employee who was helping police at the scene of an accident on I-70 in Independence.

Clifton ScottPolice say Murdick drove through cones and flares before hitting Scott, and then Scott’s truck — which burst into flames.

Xavier Estelle, Scott's older sister, attended the court appearance, where a pre-trial hearing was set for June 7.

"It is very frustrating because first of all it should be an open and closed case," Estelle said. "There is no defense whatsoever or grounds that he can stand on, that he was innocent."

Murdick’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, police said.

The fatal crash happened September 21. Below are Murdick's court appearance since then.

  • On September 25, Murdick was released on bond after he surrendered his license plates.
  • On September 26, the court held a 'bond appearance' hearing, but it was rescheduled for two days later on September 28.
  • On September 28, Murdick returned to court for his initial arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty. Bond was set and Murdick was put on a Sobrieter Meter and told not to drive.  His preliminary hearing was scheduled for November 5, 2012.
  • On November 5, Murdick's preliminary hearing was continued until December 10.
  • On December 10, Murdick's preliminary hearing was continued until February 4.
  • On February 4, Murdick waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his formal arraignment was scheduled for March 6.
  • On March 6, the judge ordered fingerprinting, and continued the arraignment until April 10.
  • On April 10, Murdick's arraignment was rescheduled for May 15.
  • On Wednesday, May 15, Murdick was arraigned and a pretrial hearing set for June 7.

Three months ago, Scott’s fiance and Scott's family expressed frustration that the wheels of justice are turning so slowly.

“I don’t understand, is all I can say, I don’t understand. Clifton has been gone four months. Mr. Murdick gets to be at home with his family,” Banks said in February when she attended what she thought would be the preliminary hearing . “I would like to see him do his time, that’s what I would love to see, because if the shoe was on the other foot, I don’t think this would be prolonged.”

February story: Family still waiting for justice in MoDOT worker death

"Hopefully nobody ever has to go through this, where somebody is going to be run down like a deer in the streets, and tore. And it hurts. It hurts," said Scott's sister Xavier after the Wednesday court hearing.

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