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§ 125.075(1), Procuring Alcohol for Minor Resulting in Death – Sufficiency of Evidence

State v. Ronald L. Wille, 2007 WI App 27, PFR filed 2/28/07
For Wille: Jerome A. Maeder, Benjamin Welch

Issue: Whether the evidence was sufficient under § 125.075(1) to show that the defendant had the underage victim had consumed alcohol provided by the defendant at a party for which the defendant supplied beer and sold red cups for the purpose of obtaining the beer (the victim became intoxicated and later died in a traffic accident after leaving the party).

Holding:

¶17   Wille admitted on cross-examination that he knew when he purchased and arranged for the delivery of the barrels of beer to the party site that “an underage drinking party” was to occur and that party attendees would include “people … under the legal drinking age.” …¶18   What Wille does dispute is whether the State produced sufficient evidence to allow jurors to conclude that Meshak consumed any of the beer that Wille provided to the party. Wille asserts that “no evidence was submitted to show that Wille sold a cup to Meshak or to show that Wille provided the alcohol that Meshak was drinking from the red cup.” …

¶19   An attendee of the party testified that he saw Meshak drink beer from a red cup and that he saw Meshak fill the cup once from one of the kegs at the party. This witness estimated that Meshak had consumed “about eight” cups of beer at the party, stating further that he had not seen Meshak fill his cup from any source of beer other than the keg and had not seen him with either a beer bottle or can in his hands. Another witness said that he was “pretty sure” that the beer he and Meshak were “slamming” near the end of the party were from one of the barrels at the party. [5] This same witness had earlier told a detective that he had seen Meshak “drinking fast and from the barrel of beer.” Finally, a third witness testified that he had seen Meshak fill “his cup from the half-barrel” “more than once, I believe,” although this witness later said, “I don’t remember seeing him just fill it up, but I know he was drinking out of a red cup.”

¶20   In sum, we are satisfied that the State presented sufficient evidence …

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