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Son pleads guilty, parents await trial on charges of providing alcohol to minors

Posted July 27, 2015

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— A 19-year-old who is accused along with his parents of providing alcohol to minors at a party pleaded guilty Monday, and he will be sentenced after the trial of his parents.

Thomas Blake Matthews pleaded guilty in Wake County Superior Court to one count of underage purchase of alcohol.

Matthews and his parents, Dr. Charles Joseph Matthews, 59, and Kimberley Hunt Matthews, 52, were charged in connection with a June 2014 wedding at their home. Jonathon Gregory Taylor, an 18-year-old guest, left the party and was killed when he crashed his vehicle into a tree. Investigators said he had been drinking.

A jury was seated Monday and opening statements will begin Tuesday in the trial of Charles and Kimberly Matthews, who are charged with four counts each of aiding and abetting the consumption of alcohol by minors. The couple sought to dismiss their charges, saying they were being discriminated against by the Wake County District Attorney's Office. But a Superior Court judge last week refused to dismiss the case.

In their motion to dismiss, the Matthewses called their prosecution "intentional or deliberate discrimination" because prosecutors did not go after the bartenders who served alcohol to teens without asking for identification or the Wake County ABC employee who sold their son alcohol, again without asking for ID.

No charges were filed against the bartenders at the wedding, and charges against the ABC store worker were dropped.

Assistant Wake County District Attorney Jason Waller said in court that Thomas Matthews and three friends - all 18 at the time - purchased Jack Daniels at an ABC store, and the four consumed the bottle. They also drank wine at the wedding, he said.

The underage drinkers became so ill that EMS was called and one girl's parents had to pick her up, he said.

5 Comments

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  • Paul Jones Jul 28, 2015
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    This is nonsense. The kid is 19 and to young per our stupid laws to drink, yet he is jailed because somebody a year younger than him also drank (and who was himself a legal adult fully responsible for his own actions).

    Our laws are so illogical.

  • James Grimes Jr. Jul 28, 2015
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    Unless it was a really good fake ID.

  • Russell Chapman Jul 27, 2015
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    Neither are Doctors like the accused. Its the name and title they are after. No prosecutor will say, "yea, I really nailed that bartender or that ABC cashier", but they will say "I really stuck it to that Doctor.."

  • Mike Wells Jul 27, 2015
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    There has to be some details missing from this article. A convenient store clerk can be arrest for selling alcohol underage. A nightclub can loose it's liquor license for not checking ID's or selling alcohol underage. An ABC store employee they drop the charges. Bet this "ain't" the first time the ABC employee has sold alcohol to an underage kid.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 27, 2015
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    Now...the bartenders and ABC workers should be charged just like the parents. They provided alcohol to minors which is illegal.