Host of underage party charged after student's death
Posted January 25, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.