Verdict for 'Party Mom' Upheld on Appellate Level | News

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Verdict for 'Party Mom' Upheld on Appellate Level

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The guilty verdict for a woman who threw a house party the night two teens were killed in a fiery car crash was upheld last month, clearing the way for her to begin serving her sentence.

Diane Santarelli was found guilty in July of throwing an open house party and contributing to the delinquency of a minor following the Jan. 12 party involving teenagers.

Jessy Pitts, 18, and Taylor Brennan, 17, were killed driving home from
the party. Pitts had a blood alcohol level of .18 at the time of
the crash.  

At the time, she was sentenced to 60 days in jail for the house party charge, and 364 days for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, to be served concurrently. That's the maximum punishment for both charges.

The appellate court upheld the jury's verdict; on Dec. 22, the Florida State Supreme Court announced it was refusing to hear the case.

A statement from the Office of the State Attorney said Santarelli was guilty of hosting several house parties where she provided alcohol and drugs to high school students.

After the July sentencing, Santarelli was released on her own recognisance and allowed to go home. Judge Richard Watson said there were some "sticky legal aspects" in the case, but did not expound.

Santarelli faced two counts of manslaughter as well, but was found not guilty on those charges.


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