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Police say man provided alcohol to teens, one of whom died

March 16, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Borough police charged a Waynesboro man Wednesday with furnishing alcohol last November to four teenagers, including one who later died after being run over by two cars while lying in the street, according to court records.

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Richard A. Gossert, 37, whose address was listed as 48 W. Fourth St., was arraigned before District Justice Larry G. Pentz . He was released after posting $5,000 bond, Pentz said.

Gossert was charged with six third-degree misdemeanor counts of furnishing alcohol to minors.

A conviction on each charge would carry a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail plus a mandatory fine of $1,000, Pentz said.

Seth Warford, 16, of 216 W. Fourth St., Waynesboro, died on the evening of Nov. 14, 1999. He was lying in the road on South Potomac Street near its intersection with Fourth Street when he was struck by two passing vehicles, according to police records. Neither driver was charged in the accident.

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An autopsy showed Warford's blood alcohol content to be .21 percent, court records said. Pennsylvania's legal blood alcohol limit is .10 percent.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Gossert for 9 a.m. on March 24.

Police alleged he supplied alcohol to Warford and three others between the ages of 14 through 16 on Nov. 12, and to two of the four, including Warford, on Nov. 14, the day of the accident, court records said.

No charges will be filed against the juveniles for underage drinking, Assistant District Attorney David W. Rahauser said Wednesday.

According to court records, one of Warford's friends, a 14-year-old girl, came upon the scene of the accident shortly after it happened and asked investigators who had been killed. When told it was Warford, she told police she had been with him just prior to the accident.

Police said that in interviews the next day, the girl alleged she and Warford were at Gossert's house that afternoon and all three were drinking a grain alcohol, Everclear. They were mixing it with grape juice and ginger ale, court records said.

Gossert and the two teenagers left the residence at 7 p.m., police alleged. The girl told police she and Warford parted company on South Potomac Street, court records said.

In a subsequent interview with all three juveniles on Nov. 20, they alleged they and Warford had been drinking at Gossert's house on Nov. 12, court records said. They said they were at a friend's house earlier and called Gossert from there.

They alleged he picked them up and drove to a liquor store in Maryland, where he bought a half-gallon of Everclear plus some other alcohol, then they went to Gossert's house to drink, court records said.

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