Local News

Teen, parents charged with providing alcohol to minor who died in car crash

Posted August 12, 2014
Updated July 30, 2015

— An 18-year-old and his parents were charged Tuesday with providing alcohol to minors at a June wedding.

According to police, Jonathon Gregory Taylor, 18, left the reception at 904 Vance St. immediately before his June 29 death in a crash on Hunting Ridge Road in north Raleigh.

Investigators suspect Taylor was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when he crashed.

At least one other underage person was hospitalized as a result of consuming alcoholic beverages at the wedding, according to the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement.

ALE agents arrested Thomas Blake Matthews, 18, of 904 Vance St., and charged him with purchasing alcohol for the party – a bottle of Jack Daniels from the Cameron Village ABC Store, according to an arrest warrant – and three counts of providing alcohol to minors.

His parents, Dr. Charles Joseph Matthews, 59, and Kimberly Hunt Matthews, 52, both of the same address, were also arrested by ALE agents and charged with four counts each of aiding and abetting the consumption of alcohol by minors, including Taylor and their son.

Charles Matthews is a Raleigh-based neurologist.

ABC store clerk James Gordon Wilson, 60, of 5201 Trinity Village Lane, Apt 102 in Raleigh, was cited with selling spirituous liquor to a person less than 21 years of age.

All three members of the Matthews family were released on $50,000 unsecured bonds. They are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 19.

The arrests underscore the importance of parents knowing what's happening in their home, said Alcohol Law Enforcement Assistant Special Agent in Charge Terrence Merriweather.

"You have to do your due diligence, you have to be aware, you have to be a good steward of the product that are in your home in making sure they are only be served to those folks who are of age," he said.

Regardless, the court process will not bring Taylor back, said John Dill, owner of the gym Taylor worked out at.

"For me personally, this is a loss on a level that's deep enough (in that) it's not about what happens to anybody else," he said. "It's not going to bring John back."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • 678devilish Aug 14, 2014

    The parents was there and was wrong to allow underage alcohol drinking. They were not being responsible at all to their sons and the other teens hanging around. They should have to face their consequences and they should have been charge right along with their son. He is 18 and that makes him an adult. Parents should absolutely be ashamed of themselves for failing their son, and the other teens.

  • xliveoutloudx Aug 14, 2014

    Consider, too, that this was a huge event in a huge mansion with many people. The four kids drinking were likely unnoticed in the crowd...because honestly, there was so much going on and I'm sure in the eyes of the Matthews family and the other adults involved, the boys were not small children who needed constant monitoring...but rather young adults they believed they could trust to participate and enjoy the event in a responsible manner...

    I don't know. What I do know is we were not there and thus do not and can never know exactly what happened that night.

    So let's just stop judging this family who is going through a hard enough time already and let's instead join together and pray for strength and healing for everyone involved...okay?

  • xliveoutloudx Aug 14, 2014

    And speaking of those teenagers...

    His son, Thomas? Yeah, he messed up...he messed up big time. But he is not a bad kid. Honestly, what he did is something that handfuls of my peers do almost every weekend in one way or another- a very common act of teenage rebellion. And it's terrible and unlawful, don't get me wrong. But he is not some murderer who committed some unheard of and unforgivable act-- he's a teenager who made a mistake hundreds of other teens make on a daily basis. It's just his mistake stands out among the crowd because it ended in unspeakable tragedy. A teenager who decided to drink underage got behind the wheel of a vehicle and lost his life. And that is beyond heartbreaking for the boys family and friends and everyone involved.


  • xliveoutloudx Aug 14, 2014

    He not only helps me physically heal, but makes me feel like a valuable part of society when I feel the whole rest of the world wishes me dead. Even on days it feels impossible to smile, he makes me feel like I am worth something and gives me reason to keep fighting. He has never given up on me, and I will not let anyone give up on him...or speak badly of his character when they do not know him and do not know his heart...because I do. And I know this man does not care what anyone thinks or says, he is broken and will forever shoulder the blame and responsibility for the irresponsible and deadly actions of a group of dumb, experimenting teenagers. So please...

  • xliveoutloudx Aug 14, 2014

    If you wish to express your opinion on this terrible tragedy, feel free...you have every right to do so. But please, I beg you, do not speak poorly about this family's character or about Dr. Matthews as a doctor or person...

    Dr. Matthews is an amazing man and the smartest, most compassionate doctor out there. He truly cares about each one of his patients...more than simply what ails them. He is a blessing in the lives of so many...ask his large number of patients (many who have been seeing him almost as long as I have been alive) or really anyone who knows him personally. To me, he is an absolute godsend. Medically, I was ready to give up. My body was falling apart and other doctors were shooing me away, labeling me as "too complicated." Not Dr. Matthews. He tirelessly searched for answers until he figured out what was wrong with me and how to help...so much more than any doctor I've been to and more than any neuropsychiatrist is required to do, ever. (Cont next comment)

  • disgusted2010 Aug 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Look it up yourself, if you are that jaded you would not accept my citation and as it would be a peer reviewed article in a scholarly journal you probably would not understand it anyway.

  • yellow_hat Aug 13, 2014

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    You need to cite a reference. I do not believe you.

  • Alexia Proper Aug 13, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    I disagree. The law was largely changed to to pressure from organizations like MADD. Science was brought into the discussion long after the campaign was waged to increase the drinking age.

    Sure, there is evidence that drinking at a younger age is not good. Likewise, there is evidence that drinking at any age is bad. There is also evidence that drinking is healthy for you. There is also evidence that drinking at a younger age in moderation (e.g., under parental supervision with wine at dinner) helps to avoid the issues with typical teen drinking, such as drunken parties and binge drinking.

    As I stated before, it's fairly well accepted in most cultures, including many states in the US and definitely many families in EVERY state, that drinking at home, such as a glass of wine at dinner, is reasonable and should not be illegal. NC should relax its laws.

  • disgusted2010 Aug 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The laws are NOT puritanical or liberal or conservative. They are based on hard research proving that the brain of youth is still developing until about the age of 25. Those under that (or 21) age are proven to be less mature and less able to handle the effects of alcohol. Also, alcohol destroys brain cells and does so more readily in a still developing brain. Everything is not about religion or politics.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Aug 13, 2014

    Hope the ABC store gets busted just like the the kangaroo or handi hugo would be