Court charges man who bought liquor in fatal crash

A Cape Cod man will be arraigned in Edgartown District Court December 10, on charges that he supplied alcohol to an Island teenager who was later killed in a car crash that left two families devastated.

Clerk-magistrate Liza Williamson issued a complaint against Sean Hester, 23, of Sagamore, following a probable cause hearing last Thursday.

Mr. Hester will be charged with procuring liquor for a person under 21 years of age.

State Police said Mr. Hester bought a large bottle of alcohol for Jena Pothier of Oak Bluffs, who was with a group of friends that included Kelly McCarron of Edgartown and other teens, on the afternoon of June 11, 2009.

Ms. McCarron, then 17 and about to graduate three days later from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and Ms. Pothier later spent a carefree early summer day with friends. In the evening, Ms. McCarron was the driver when the crash occurred on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. She was badly hurt, and Ms. Pothier died.

In May, Ms. McCarron pled guilty to vehicular homicide, while driving under the influence of alcohol. She was sentenced to 2.5 years in a house of correction, with one year to serve, and the balance suspended for five years of probation. She is serving her sentence at the Barnstable House of Correction.

As part of her plea agreement, the court ordered Ms. McCarron to cooperate with police and prosecutors in the investigation into who supplied the alcohol.

In a statement submitted at the Thursday hearing, state police offered Ms. McCarron’s statement as evidence that Mr. Hester purchased the alcohol.

“Ms. McCarron stated she thought the alcohol came from a co-worker, Sean Hester,” State Trooper David Parent wrote. “Jena and Sean worked together at King’s Mopeds. The fact of the alcohol being purchased by Hester was later confirmed when he later apologized and told Kelly McCarron he purchased the alcohol.”

Police also submitted a statement by one of the teenagers who spent time with Ms. McCarron and Ms. Pothier on the day of the accident. The witness said that while parked near the moped rental shop, Ms. Pothier went to talk to Mr. Hester, and when they returned he gave her a half-gallon of alcohol with a red label.

Under Massachusetts General Law, a conviction for procuring alcohol for a minor may be punished with a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.