It's been the talk in Burleson County for weeks: a high school party busted by authorities for underage drinking. Now the parent the Burleson County Sheriff's Office believes hosted the party, has been arrested.
42-year-old Gertrude Stifflemire was booked in and released from the Burleson County jail over the weekend. She was charged with one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The charges stem from a birthday party the sheriff's office said Stifflemire hosted for her daughter following the Caldwell High School prom.
Stroud said deputies found out about the party around 2 a.m. May 9th, when they pulled over a car with an underage intoxicated passenger. According to Stroud, the passenger told deputies he'd been drinking at a home off C.R. 132.
The Sheriff's office said deputies ended the party, but because of an overload of calls to the sheriff's office that night, no one was charged on scene. Around 10 days later, deputies showed up at Caldwell High and issued 42 students minor in possession citations.
County Attorney Joey Skrivanek said the ordeal has been a difficult education for kids and their parents but a necessary one because of several recent alcohol related deaths.
"Were they disappointed in their kids? I'm sure some some were. The trust that some of them had in their kids, is that messed up a little? Probably was. Is it gonna be a little hard for some of those kids to build that back up? Yes, but at least these kids are still alive," said Skrivanek.
Minor in possession is a class C misdemeanor, the same level of offense as a speeding ticket. Skrivanek said students who are first-time offenders will likely have the option of taking deferred adjudication.
Although Stifflemire is charged with furnishing alcohol, TABC agent Randy Field said the charge doesn't necessarily mean she purchased it or handed it out. Field said someone who is criminally negligent in making alcohol available to minors would also be charged with the same thing.
Furnishing alcohol to a minor is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $4,000 fine, a year in the county jail, or both.
According to the Caldwell I.S.D. handbook, as long as a student didn't consume alcohol at a school event or on school property, there will be no punishment from the district.