Local News

Host of underage party charged after student's death

Posted January 25, 2012

— State agents on Wednesday charged three people in connection with an alleged underage drinking party linked to a Millbrook High School student's recent death.

Hannah R. Smith, 18, of 8617 Hawksmoor Drive, was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting, and Samantha M. McKinney, 17, of Raleigh, was charged with underage purchase of spirituous liquor. A juvenile petition also was filed against a 15-year-old on a charge of underage purchase of spirituous liquor.

Elizabeth Molloy, 17, was killed on Jan. 7 when the Jeep she was riding in went out of control on Rainwater Road and slammed into a tree.

Agents with the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement allege that Smith hosted an underage party on Jan. 6 that Molloy and Garrett Prince attended.

Bryan House, assistant special agent-in-charge of the Raleigh ALE District Office, said the arrests should send a message to anyone involved in underage drinking: Criminal charges are possible.

"You don't always have to be the guy behind the wheel," he said. "You don't always (even) have to be present."

Prince, 16, of 11004 Coachman's Way, was driving the Jeep went it crashed. He has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, provisional DWI, careless and reckless driving, having an open container of liquor, speeding and possession of marijuana.

There was no answer at Smith's home Wednesday afternoon.

Neighbors said they recall a small party at the house three weeks ago and that there was another underage party at the house about a month earlier. Smith's father went door-to-door the day after the earlier party to apologize for the excessive noise, a neighbor said.

Hannah Smith's house More charges filed in wreck that killed student

Late last Friday, ALE agents charged Anthony Du Juan Geter, 21, of 7101 Sandy Forks Road, Apt. 3A, with four counts of aiding and abetting. Authorities allege that he bought two bottles of rum at a Wake County ABC store on Sandy Forks Road for Prince, Molloy, McKinney and the juvenile.

Authorities allege that McKinney and the juvenile helped buy the rum.

Prince, Smith and McKinney are all Millbrook High students.

“Underage drinking breeds bad decisions – decisions to drive after drinking and to ride with intoxicated drivers,” Jeff Lasater, special agent-in-charge of the Raleigh ALE office, said in a statement. “This tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of the seriousness of both underage drinking and providing alcoholic beverages to minors."

Witnesses said they smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Prince's Jeep, according to an arrest warrant, and officers found marijuana and open containers of wine in the vehicle.

A wreck report states that the Jeep was traveling 75 mph in a 30-mph zone when it crashed into a tree on Rainwater Road.


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  • newsjunk Jan 30, 2012

    Wow, surprising to see the previous charges against so many involved in this case. The alleged party thrower Smith to McKinney to Prince and the girlfriend Plummer...all have previous charges in the Wake County Court system and are all not the calendars. Plus another blog had a sampling of a list of FB friends of one charged that shows so many with underage drinking charges or drug possession?! Seems like they already had their warnings, time to send a harsher message. I know we all tried it when we were young, but come on, maybe one slap on the wrist, one parent caught us drinking and we had the fear. No message getting through here unfortunately. Hopefully it won't take another death, because if they stay on this path, it will happen.

  • Ex-Republican Jan 27, 2012

    "Agents with the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement allege that Smith hosted an underage party on Jan. 6 that Molloy and Garrett Prince attended."

    What's "an underage party"????

    I'm having a party for my 9 year old next month. She's inviting many kids "underage". Is this illegal??

    Obvious Sarcasm. But either law enforcement or the writer needs to be more carefull with wording.

  • gopack07 Jan 27, 2012

    "You don't always have to be the guy behind the wheel," he said. "You don't always (even) have to be present."

    An unfortunate event, but a good lesson to all kids. Another thought is that we put so much emphasis on not driving while under the influence, but we also need to be teaching kids that getting in cars with people under the influence is just as bad.

  • damnyank Jan 27, 2012

    YABO2K3. you are so right! I don't think this picture being painted is right. And not only did she chose to get in the car, but I'm sure she KNEW there was liquor and marijuana in the car. And I doubt she was sober if she HERSELF put money in to buy the liquor in the first place. No one FORCED her to drink and no one forced her in the car. So i don't know why everyone else is "to blame" except her... this doesn't even make sense. The girl was 17...she knew exactly what she was doing.

  • justcommonsense Jan 26, 2012

    Ok, first of all to everyone on the soap box about "Where were the parents? WHy aren't they being charged?'

    The girl who hosted the party was 18 years old. By law and adult or what is called "the age of consent". At that age the parents do not have to be at home 24/7 to make sure that their little girl/boy is behaving. I would surmise that the parents were probably away. We used to go away when my son was a teenager. We didn't worry about parties at the house.

    And even when parents teach their kids about alchohol and drugs and set rules/boundaries.... it doesn't mean that they are going to follow the rules when on their own.

    While we did not allow my son to be out after midnight (on weekends) we knew many of his classmates and friends were out at all hours.

    Teens are going to do what they want to do regardless of what they are taught. And drinking and driving applies to all ages.

  • OnlyTheBestWillDo Jan 26, 2012

    mmmm...There's a mugshot missing

  • OnlyTheBestWillDo Jan 26, 2012

    Where's Hannah Smith's picture?

  • cghobgood Jan 26, 2012

    This is a terrible tragedy, I really feel for the family. We know how it feels for your child to be taken away by the carelessness of others. I do feel this story has a little difference. Our kids should know that they should never get into a car with someone that has been drinking or etc..... I don't see how the children could be charged, they didn't buy it and they didn't pour it down the drivers throat. Get the adult!

  • carolinaprincess62 Jan 26, 2012

    I, too, would like to know the BAC of the "victim". My thoughts and prayers are with her family because I am sure they are regretting letting her have the freedom to be out IF they KNEW she was out. Kids do sneak out. As for me, I'd much rather my kid smoke pot than drink a drop of alcohol.
    Marijuana does not cause more deaths than alcoho1. And I know a lot of cops that think it should be legal. You must have been watching "Reefer Madness". Marijuana is illegal because of it's relationship to the Hemp plant. And if you research it, you will find that William Randolph Hearst was behind that because he stood to lose a lot of money from paper being made from hemp plants. I don't smoke pot or cigarettes. I don't drink nor use any illegal drugs.

  • wildcat Jan 26, 2012

    The adults should have been charge for they all knew better. Never buy or served alcoholic beverage to kids underage. You see now that can get you as an adult in serious trouble.