Woman acknowledges buying alcohol for youths

August 08, 1999|By Chris Guy | Chris Guy,SUN STAFF

Worcester County authorities say a 21-year-old Ocean Pines woman has acknowledged buying alcohol that was served to underage drinkers at a post-graduation party in June. A 20-year-old charter boat mate was killed after leaving the party and driving his pickup truck into a tree.

Police say that Kristie Abate told investigators last week that she accompanied a 17-year-old youth to a Fenwick Island, Del., liquor store June 1 and bought alcohol that was served at a party at a waterfront farm near Ocean City.

The admission by Abate, who could not be reached for comment, should conclude a two-month investigation into the crash that claimed the life of Robert E. Krieger Jr., police said.

"Since the alcohol was purchased across the state line, we are sending our report to the Delaware Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission," said Detective Sgt. Michael McDermott, who led the investigation in Worcester County.

"Obviously, one of the major issues was to find out how the juveniles got the alcohol in the first place," McDermott said. "I hope to close our investigation by the end of [this] week. Any further action would have to be determined by authorities in Delaware."

John Giles, deputy director of the Delaware commission, said yesterday that his agency has not received the police report.

"We just won't know what, if any, charges would be appropriate until we see the file," Giles said. "We'll review it, and the state attorney general's office will review it."

Teen-agers and young adults who went to the party said drinks -- including keg beer and punch made with grain alcohol -- were served by an underage bartender who collected $5 and stamped the hands of those who were drinking.

Two weeks after the party, Worcester County prosecutors charged two juveniles with selling alcohol without a license and providing alcohol to a minor. Neither youth was identified, but State's Attorney Joel Todd said one of the boys will face formal charges before a juvenile court judge.

Friends say Krieger, who wrecked his 1999 truck about 1 a.m. June 2, had been drinking heavily. An autopsy revealed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.13, above the 0.10 level state law defines as driving while intoxicated.

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