Party host faces manslaughter

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GloriaInTX's picture
Last seen: 15 hours 36 min ago
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Party host faces manslaughter

Should this woman face a manslaughter charge for providing alcohol?

A Missouri judge is considering whether a party host can be held responsible for a drunk minor who left her home and caused a fatal car accident.

Sandra Triebel, 47, could face an involuntary manslaughter charge for the 2009 death of Laura B. Reynolds. The 16-year-old was killed on Halloween night when Kenneth S. Blake II, then 19, drove from Triebel's home with a blood alcohol level two-and-a-half times the legal limit and caused the deadly crash.

If the case goes to trial, Triebel could become the first person in state history to be convicted as an alcohol provider held responsible for a fatal drunk driving accident.

What makes this incident different?

ABC News reports:

[Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Baker] said her office charged Triebel in Reynolds' death because she mixed the drinks herself in her Kansas City home, knew that Blake was a minor when she served him alcohol, and knew that he was intoxicated when he got into his car. That level of criminal negligence warrants an involuntary manslaughter charge, she said.

Triebel?s defense lawyer, Tiffany Leuty, argues that her client can not be charged because it is impossible to prove that Triebel caused the accident, according to the Kansas City Star.

?We don?t hold people responsible for a third party?s actions,? Leuty said at a recent court hearing. ?This is nothing new. People serve underage people all the time in Missouri, but we don?t have another person charged with involuntary manslaughter.?

If charged, Triebel also faces two misdemeanor counts of supplying liquor to a minor and allowing a minor to drink on her property.

Following the incident, Blake pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and two counts of assault.

Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 274

It seems she broke the law and she should be held responsible for it. In Mass. bartenders/bars/restaurants can get in trouble for overserving a legal adult that causes an accident so this isn't new for me. This law applies also to people that you are serving at your own home. Especially minors.

She was an idiot for serving a 19 and a 16 year old period. She deserves what she gets for a punishment.

SoCaliLover's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: 12/07/06
Posts: 1591

Serving to a minor? Yes. Involuntary Manslaughter by definition is you have done a criminal act (ie serving to a minor) with a reckless disregard for the consequences that results in someones death. (reckless disregard is a much higher standard then mere negligence)

In this story, lady serves a lot of drinks to a 19 year old kid (illegal) to the point he is 2.5 times legal limit, lets him get in a car and drive away.

In California we have dramshop laws that give a qualified immunity to bars for serving alcohol, i.e. I go to a bar, get trashed, drive away and kill someone, the bar cannot be sued. That immunity does not apply though if the bar or host serves an underage person. Missouri law may be different but in California that person would be charged with involuntary manslaughter and could be held liable both in criminal and civil court.