GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A prosecutor will seek a prison term for a western Pennsylvania woman who has pleaded guilty to serving a half-keg of beer to teen guests at her son’s graduation party, before three of them were killed in a crash about a mile away.
Susan Sanders-Watt, 60, of Greensburg, pleaded guilty Monday to four counts each of corruption of minors and reckless endangerment and 17 citations of serving alcohol to minors, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (
Sanders-Watt wasn’t charged with involuntary manslaughter, because prosecutors couldn’t prove the beer she served caused the crash on June 26, 2010. That’s because the driver, 19-year-old Michael Simpson, had been drinking at another location before the defendant’s party.
But Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Sanders-Watt faces a maximum of 45 years in prison and, though she’ll likely receive less under state sentencing guidelines, he will ask a judge to put her in jail or prison rather than letting her serve probation or house arrest. Her sentencing will be scheduled in about three months.
“We’re recommending a period of incarceration because three people were killed as a result of consuming alcohol,” Peck said. “I think adults have to realize there are going to be horrible consequences giving alcohol to minors.”
“This is probably one of the worst cases,” Peck said, referring to the crash that killed Simpson, who was legally drunk, along with two passengers, Carly Kudray, 18, and Jordan Cobb, 19. A third passenger was injured but has recovered.
All four were graduates of Greensburg-Salem High School, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Defense attorney Scott Bitar said Sanders-Watt gave letters of condolence to the victims’ families and will make a public statement about the incident when she’s sentenced.
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