A Wyoming couple is charged with involuntary manslaughter after allegedly providing alcohol to the woman’s 16-year-old son, leading to his death.
Joseph M. Richardson and Paulette L. Richardson, from the town of Urie in southwestern Wyoming, are charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Kendal Ball, who was found dead in their home.
According to court documents, the mother and stepfather wanted to teach the 16-year old a lesson and let Ball drink enough to get sick because the teen had expressed a desire to drink alcohol in three years.
The Herald also wrote that Ball’s biological father is an alcoholic, and Paulette didn’t want the teen to suffer the same fate.
The drinking allegedly began at about 8:30 p.m. on July 6, the Uinta County Herald reports. His mother said she checked on him at about 11 p.m. and he gave her a thumbs up. The couple told authorities that Ball drank a few shots of Fireball, and a few shots of Jack Daniel’s. However, when Joseph Richardson checked on the teen at about 3:45 a.m., Ball was unresponsive. Richard said he called an ambulance.
“The teen’s lips and eyelids were dark blue,” the affidavit states, also saying there was “a large amount of dark, thick fluid pooled on the floor from his mouth.”
An autopsy found the boy’s blood-alcohol level was 0.587 percent – more than seven times the legal limit for drivers, the Uinta County Herald reported. Uinta County Attorney Loretta Gerrard told the newspaper that trying to teach such lessons can be dangerous.
“I am not here to make parenting decisions for people,” Gerrard said. “What I hope people understand, however, is that some traditional parenting lore, wives tales or theories don’t apply in an age where we have refined products that accelerate the effect of chemicals on the human body.”
Sheriff Doug Matthews said Tuesday the Richardsons remained in the county jail. Both Joseph and Paulette L. Richardson face 20 years if convicted.