YORK, Pa. — Jury selection begins Monday for the trial of a Pennsylvania couple accused of allowing alcohol consumption by two teenagers who died last summer after their sport utility vehicle hit a utility pole, flipped and burst into flames.
Stephen and Jodie Tierney, both 46, are charged in York County with child endangerment, involuntary manslaughter, corruption of minors and providing alcohol to minors stemming from the June 2016 crash that killed 17-year-old Stone Hill and 16-year-old Nicholas Mankin about 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg in Lower Chanceford Township..
Prosecutors allege that both teens — and eight others — had been drinking at the couple’s home the night before the crash while they were home and on the day of the crash while they weren’t there. The commonwealth argues that the Tierneys had and violated a “duty of care” and were responsible for the deaths.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that their home was “a place where teenagers felt that they could hang out and engage in underage drinking with no repercussions or concern of their parents finding out about their activities.”
Defense attorneys have said in court documents that the Tierneys weren’t home when alcohol was being consumed on the day of the crash, didn’t purchase it for them, didn’t know the two were impaired and had no reason to try to prevent them from driving. Two witnesses have testified that they didn’t appear intoxicated.
Tests determined that the driver’s blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.094 percent. In Pennsylvania, adults are driving drunk at 0.08 percent; drivers under 21 can’t drink at all.