The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 22, 2013

8 face trial in Jackson Twp. party

VINCO — Eight Jackson Township residents charged in connection with an underage drinking party last year will have the case heard in Cambria County court, authorities said.

The eight adults waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Monday before District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi of Vinco.

Jackson Township police allege that the adults, who had adjacent properties on Swigle Mountain Road in Mineral Point, hosted a party sometime around July 4 that included drinking games for juveniles

The accused are Brian R. Burket, 37, and Veronica Burket, 35; Brian P. Peterman, 37, and Tara R. Peterman, 33; Ronald Lynn Crusan, 55, and Debra J. Crusan, 53; Jacqueline Ann Neves, 29, and Eric M. Neves, 30.

Police said the adults served minors beer, screwdrivers, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, rum, Jell-O shots and other alcohol.

They face charges of corruption of minors.

All but Eric Neves also were charged with furnishing alcohol to minors.

The eight requested they be represented by Johnstown attorney Robert Davis Gleason.

Gleason said the group has held the party annually for about 10 years without incident. This time it got out of hand, he said.

“This type of party sometimes gets larger,” Gleason said.

“When it gets larger there is more probability of these types of charges.”

The Cambria County District Attorney’s Office asked the state Attorney General’s Office to take the case, citing a conflict of interest.

The DA’s office did not specify the nature of the conflict.

“We charged the adults who distributed alcohol, beer and hard liquor to youths who at the time were about 14 years old,” Deputy Attorney General Anthony M. Marmo said. “It’s absolutely unacceptable to provide minors with alcohol.”

Gleason said none of those charged has a criminal record.

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