Teenager pleads `involved' in fatality

Alcohol-related auto crash killed girl's best friend

January 12, 2007|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,SUN REPORTER

A Woodstock teenager has pleaded "involved" -- the equivalent of guilty for a juvenile -- to charges of homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol per se and driving under the influence in a single-car accident that killed her best friend last year, according to the state's attorney's office.

Theresa Rayburn, then a 17-year-old senior at Mount Hebron High School, was driving to the school's "Beach Bash II" dance in February when she drove off Route 99, near Bracken Drive, and crashed into trees. Michele Iampieri, 18, died in the crash. A third passenger, then 16-year-old junior Christopher Missett, was injured.

"Under the influence of alcohol per se" means that Rayburn's blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit of 0.08 at the time of testing, according to the state's criminal code.

The Sun generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes, but county police had previously disclosed Rayburn's name in connection with the accident.

Howard County Master Mary M. Kramer, who handles juvenile proceedings, presided over the case in open court July 27. The case will come up for review again in June.

Lara Weathersbee of the state's attorney's office would not reveal the penalties leveled against Rayburn, but they may be discussed at the June review. Under Maryland law, if a juvenile is alleged to have committed a crime that would be a felony if committed by an adult, "then that case is open to the public," according to a manual published by the state's judicial system.

The accident prompted then-Mount Hebron Principal Veronica Bohn to require students who drove to school to attend an additional safe-driving class with a parent, or else lose their parking privileges. The students had attended a class to get the parking permit.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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