Woman sentenced for teen party

  • Follow Latest News

WINDER, Ga. - A woman who allowed her teenage children to hold a 2007 after-prom party where an 18-year-old died has been sentenced to 30 days in jail, fined $4,000 and put on four years' probation.

While the sentencing concludes the criminal case against 41-year-old Barbara Ann Michael, it opens the door for Leland Martin's parents to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit they have filed against Ms. Michael and her stepson.

Ms. Michael pleaded guilty last week to eight misdemeanor charges: two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor and two counts of keeping a disorderly house. None of the charges were directly related to Mr. Martin's death.

"Because he was 18, she could not have been charged with an offense against him," said Patricia Brooks, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case. "So all of the contributing to a delinquency of a minor and contributing to deprivation counts were for other kids who were there who were 17 and 16."

Mr. Martin was found dead April 29, 2007, the morning after he and 20 to 40 people attended the after-prom party at a house near Auburn.

Ms. Michael was not home at the time and did not procure alcohol for the party, Ms. Brooks said. However, she turned a blind eye to the fact that teenagers were drinking at her house at a party in November 2006 and at the after-prom party.

Her stepson A.J. Perry still faces a reckless conduct charge. He was 19 at the time.

Mr. Martin's parents - Kimberly and Leland Martin Sr. - claim that both Ms. Michael and Mr. Perry bear responsibility for their son's death because both were adults in charge of the home and allowed the teenagers to drink there, according to the wrongful death suit they filed in Barrow County Superior Court.

Mr. Martin drank "a significant amount of Everclear," or high-proof grain alcohol, at the party, according to deputies with the Barrow County Sheriff's Office.

According to friends and classmates, he wasn't a regular drinker, had never been to a party at the Michael home and didn't know the people at the party well.

During the party, he and others videotaped themselves, and he fought with at least two people. While he was injured in a fight, an autopsy showed that the injuries did not contribute to his death, according to the sheriff's office. He suffocated while passed out on a large ottoman as the party continued around him, the sheriff's office said last spring.

Mr. Perry's attorney will argue at an Aug. 27 hearing that authorities should dismiss the charge, Ms. Brooks said.

His attorney also has filed a motion to dismiss the Martins' lawsuit against him, refuting their claims that he should have prevented Mr. Martin from drinking and should have known that he needed medical help.

The Martins sued Ms. Michael and Mr. Perry in April, but Judge Joseph Booth halted the civil action until the criminal cases ended. They are seeking unspecified damages and court costs.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Does_it_really_matter
1
Points
Does_it_really_matter 08/15/09 - 12:27 pm
0
0
Disgusting....I hope they sue

Disgusting....I hope they sue her butt off......obviously the judge didn't deem life to be worth much.

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 08/15/09 - 01:46 pm
0
0
Sue? For what? He was an

Sue? For what? He was an adult. If he were stll alive, he could and should be charged with contributing to minors himself! HE WAS AN ADULT...NOT A KID !!

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/15/09 - 01:59 pm
0
0
There is no basis for sueing

There is no basis for sueing these people, even though what they did was reckless and disgusting. Martin was an adult, no matter how immature, and decided to get himself into that kind of condition. Sad as it is, it's his own fault he's dead. As much as his parents might blame Michael and Perry for providing their son with the means, they were the ones who apparently didn't sufficiently impress upon him how to drink responsibly and the dangers of binge drinking. It's very sad, all the way around.

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 08/15/09 - 03:00 pm
0
0
A homeowner is responsible

A homeowner is responsible for everything that happens on their property. She knew they were drinking and allowed it. Read the story again. She wasn't convicted about the 19 year old, she was convicted of charges involving minors.

missaugusta07
9
Points
missaugusta07 08/15/09 - 03:34 pm
0
0
Corgimom you are correct!She

Corgimom you are correct!She knew,so it's like she gave it to them and I don't believe it when she said she did'nt!30 days my butt,she needs more than that, that's why I have to know my children friends and family and don't allow them to go everyone house all the time,because you never know what's going on at there home,for instance giving out alcohol!

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 08/15/09 - 05:13 pm
0
0
Perfectly legal to give the

Perfectly legal to give the 19 year old a drink. Bars and resturants do it everyday. Do you sue them when too? I feel for the family of the deceased, I really do. That has to be the worse feeling in the world, to bury your kid however, the lady is not charged with anything relating to this guy. Other minors yes, this guy no. I don't see any basis for a law suit and if I were on that jury I would rule 100% for the defendent within 10 seconds. I would not have to deliberate. To sue this woman would be fribulous, or however you spell it.

Fiat_Lux
16445
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/15/09 - 10:50 pm
0
0
Here's a useful link, Pirate.

Here's a useful link, Pirate. I'm a good speller, but I still use it plenty.

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 08/16/09 - 05:27 pm
0
0
LOL..... Fiat......Thanks

LOL..... Fiat......Thanks

mable8
2
Points
mable8 08/16/09 - 06:11 pm
0
0
No one really knows that Ms

No one really knows that Ms Michael "turned a blind eye" to the current incident; the other party was in November 2006; this event was in the spring 2007. She wasn't home nor did she purchase the beverages. How do any of you know that her instructions to her son was NO PARTIES while she was not at home? As for the parents of the decedant, while I understand their loss, they have no right to sue Ms Michael; their son was responsible for his own actions, not Ms Michael. Far as I am concerned, the lady was erroneously charge, tried, and convicted. It's about time people began accepting responsibility for their own actions and quit playing the blame game. Hope nothing like this happens to any of you who feel Ms Michael should have been hung out to dry.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

City Ink: New board means more work for me

First Mayor-elect Hardie Davis will be sworn in, and the very next day the work will begin. Commissioners will meet and the gavel will fall. It will be a brand new day at City Hall.
Search Augusta jobs