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Man Gets Jail After Buying Beer For Minor. Justice Served?

This is sobering food for thought as we head into the backyard beer-and-barbecue season: David Leone, a 26-year-old man of Vandergrift, PA is heading to prison for buying alcohol that a minor consumed. Leone pleaded guilty for furnishing beer for a party where a sixteen-year-old girl proceeded to drink herself to death. Lynn Scheuring died of alcohol poisoning with a blood level of 0.44 — five times the legal limit in PA.

Leone has been sentenced to six to 23 months prison time for providing the alcohol and of furnishing alcohol to minors and the corruption of minors. The woman who was renting the house where the party occurred is also serving up to 23 months for involuntary manslaughter. Given that the people sentenced to prison merely provided the setting and means — and didn't force the girl to drink to excess — should they be punished for what was ultimately her own choice?


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UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Rac said something in poor taste? shocking...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
RAc, that seems in poor taste.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
He didn't get enough time imo.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
IMO, I think that you have to be punishing yourself pretty hard to get to 4 times the legal limit in your system. It is hard for me to imagine that she wasn't continuing to drink even after she was massively wasted and possibly puking. I think legally, he did something illegal to which there are consequences. I think morally, he shouldn't have done it but the responsibility rests with the girl herself.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Guilty. Like in a DUI, ppl don't expect to kill other people, but there is a risk they are taking. He broke the law and the consequences were worse than he expected, but not outside the realm of reality. It is sad.
foxie foxie 9 years
An old school friend of mine died driving drunk about 5 years ago after being at a party where an older man provided the alcohol to her and her friend (also 16 and now dead). Yes, it bothers me that someone would let an underaged person drink alcohol, but this old friend of mine was an idiot. She was an idiot for going to the party past midnight. She was an idiot for drinking. She was an idiot for drunk driving. She was an idiot for killing herself and her friend. SHE did it to herself, ultimately, and thank God she killed herself and not some innocent, responsible driver. Her parents are too busy pointing the finger at the purchaser of the alcohol to even acknowledge that they should have prevented it from happening. How is he more responsible than they are? The girl in this case is probably no different.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well, I think he should get 1rst degree manslaughter. The sentence clearly too light.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
well, I think this is a little tricky, but ultimately it is who ever is having the party's responsibility. We had a huge st. Partrick's day party this year, everyone invited was of course over 21, but one of my friends, who is from Germany brought her sister with her (who happened to be visiting the USA at the time) she was only 18 and I have to say that it freaked me out. I was not enjoying my party b/c I was watching her like a hawk to be sure that she did not drink. I am sure it was annoying to her b/c she can legally drink in Germany, but I explained to both of them that it would be my neck if they got in an accident on the way home or if anything happened to her and that I just couldn't take that chance.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
torgelson- I agree with you 100%. What we find morally repugnant is irrelevant to the question being asked here..should these people be imprisoned.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
If I were the arresting officer here are some of the lines I would have used when booking the defendant: I'll bet this is one that won't go down easy. Do you like your justice served neat or on the rocks, punk? I don't like your mug. (Then punch him - illegal but cool) Justice, like a good beer is best served quickly. I am sorry that girl died, it was a tragedy. I also feel like if you drink yourself to death, maybe you had some other common sense issues going on.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
torgleson: the woman who lived there was also charged and is in prison. her and the guy who bought the beer are both responsible. and to answer your question about bringing alcohol to a party -- i think i'd probably notice if there were drunk kids running around at a party i was at. this girl didn't go from one beer to a coma in 5 minutes. she had to be pretty wasted in the hours leading up to her death. 16, 21, 41... doesn't matter how old the girl was, SOMEONE should have noticed that she was overdoing it.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
At the same time, though, I'm picturing a small-ish party/barbecue. If this is a situation where 50+ people are present, this dude just brought some beer over and threw it in a cooler, and the girl kept a low profile, I have a hard time seeing his culpability in that given that it is not his house. I wish the article had more info.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
That's true, yesteryear. It's entirely possible that this is a generally well supervised child. The article gave very little information. As I said above, it seems that this adult was present and in full knowledge of the drinking child, so I agree they do hold responsibility. I think manslaughter for the homeowner is a bit excessive. But, I do agree that they need to answer for the fact that they irresponsibly provided a situation and allowed minor behavior that lead to the death of a young girl.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
"It's a moral thing - maybe not a legal thing - but I personally feel that he should go to jail." We don't send people to jail for being immoral. If you think he should be in jail, it has to be for a legal thing. "He is completely responsible hands down, just as a bartender would be serving a minor, its his home and he supplied the beer" But it wasn't his home. He brought beer to someone else's party. it doesn't really say how many people were there or what the circumstances were. Did he bring beer, put it in the fridge, and then she helped herself? Or did he walk through the door and say, hey, 16-year-old-girl, have a brewski. "ok, so what if you had a minor in the car and they weren't wearing a seatbelt? " Your control over the people in your car is much greater than your control over the guests at a party at someone else's house. I'm just curious, has anyone here ever brought wine or beer to share at a party? If so, can you tell me the age of everyone who drank any of it?
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
well, we know more about your situation than the one in this story. what i'm responding to is the fact that A. the girl was at the house (she could have/should have been asked to leave or had someone chaperoning her) and B. no one stopped her from drinking enough beers to kill herself. sorry, but the responsibility here is firmly planted on the people who were complicit in her incredibly stupid behavior. for all we know she told her parents she was going to the library. or maybe this was her first time ever drinking?
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
and i don't see how her parents could be held responsible - they weren't even there! I think that's exactly the point. I know with our little neighborhood problems, it has gotten to the point where we're sick of sending them home. Why the hell are their parents so clueless about where they are and what they are doing that it's on the rest of the neighborhood to regularly police their children? How can you absolve them of that responsibility?
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
i didn't drink when i was underage, but i did get high... and let me tell you, the "adults" i was hanging around who were OK with it, and/or bought the stuff, they were not exactly upstanding citizens. if i were having a party, and i knew alcohol was going to be a part of it, i wouldn't think twice about yanking it out of the hands of a kid and telling them to get lost. and i don't see how her parents could be held responsible - they weren't even there!
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I don't think I know enough to accurately point blame. But this girls parents are also at fault here. What were the other people at the party doing when she was drinking herself 5 times over the limit? Didn't anyone notice something wrong was occuring? Admittedly, I drank when I was younger, and it was certainly my choice. My parents sat down with me to tell me about drinking - not to do it of course, but if I do, be responsible for my own actions, and to call them if things get out of hand. Based off of how I was raised, I have a hard time placing the full blame with these 2 people.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
ok, so what if you had a minor in the car and they weren't wearing a seatbelt? should you be held responsible? certainly. and this is the same thing.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I'll be honest, I don't think either should have gone to jail. I admit I drank a lot in my teenage years... but I made that decision and took responsibility for all the bad consequences that may have and sometimes did come with that. No one was pouring the beer down her throat. I just don't feel that 6 months for buying beer for a party there turned out to be minors at is a fair sentence.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
He's guilty of what he was charged with - providing alcohol to a minor. Did he kill the girl, no, but he'll have to live with the knowledge that she did die due to something he provided for the rest of his life. In that sense I feel bad for him, I wouldn't want that on my conscience. As far as 16 year olds knowing that too much alcohol can kill you, sure they may have learned that in school or from parents and hopefully from both. But they're invicible don't you remember? Just because they learn cold hard facts in school and at home, doesn't mean they believe what they learn. I'm not making excuses for this girl by any means, I'm just saying that at 16 she was probably feeling a bit high and mighty and thinking that nothing bad can happen to her. Or it is entirely possible that she didn't have a clue about the affects of too much alcohol. and like YY pointed out everyone is different as to how much it takes to have such an adverse affect on ones body.
lovelie lovelie 9 years
I think the distinction that needs to be pointed out, is obviously the age. If the person who had died had been of age, it would have been a tragic accident, as someone of age is responsible for their own behavior. If the renter of the apartment and the person who actually bought the alcohol were charged with involuntary manslaughter, any first year law student would argue that their client cannot be criminally responsible for another individual's behavior (maybe in a civil suit they could). In this case, it is assumed that the holders of the party were assuming responsibility for any underage guests (also assuming that they knew this individual was underage)...therefore, I think the man received a just charge with furnishing alcohol to minor (with or without knowing) however, I do not feel involuntary manslaughter was an appropriate charge for the woman renting the apartment. Legally, there is no way of knowing if the woman assumed responsibility for this individual, in which case, how was she to know that the girl had had more than she can handle? That being said, I think a more appropriate charge would be endangering the welfare of a minor, because she did provide the means, but she wasn't the direct cause of the death of this girl.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I think the guy should be punished for sure, but ultimately I think it is the girls own fault that she died. You don't get 4 times the legal limit drunk accidentally. She was 16 years old, and I think at that point she holds some of the responsibility. I do think it was a bad move for him to buy it for her, but I used to know tons of teens that would drink and most of them had to get it from an adult one way or another. At some point I just think we have to be reasonable and stop pushing blame onto others. I don't think he is completely innocent, but he didn't kill her.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
He is completely responsible hands down, just as a bartender would be serving a minor, its his home and he supplied the beer, if he didn't check to see how old everyone was he was just turning a blind eye to the situation and laziness or complacence can mean a death sentence. Yes the girl drank, and she paid the price for that, now he should share in the responsibility.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
some people can only have a few drinks and still get alcohol poisoning because they (most likely unknowingly) already have compromised livers and/or kidneys. my dad used to own a bar, and he had a dumb bartended who didnt card these kids, and they were busted for driving drunk on the way home, and even though my dad didn't serve them the alcohol, the police came back to his bar and questioned him and threatened to hold him responsible for the drunk driving. things worked out in the end, and my dad fired the bartender, but what if these kids had hit someone? or killed themselves? it's scary, but alcohol can attribute to a car becoming a lethal weapon -- and in a case like this i'd say it IS the guy's fault. when you're an adult and you're with a minor, you are responsible for them.
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