SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 2, 2014

Host of October house party in Beverly is sentenced

BEVERLY — A disabled Beverly man will spend six months under house arrest after admitting yesterday to hosting a party where 100 to 150 teenagers and young adults, many of them under 21, were allowed to drink last October.

And if Ronnie Alford, 42, of 5 Juniper Valley Court, gets lonely, he’ll have to rely on his family, the telephone or Internet for company, after Salem District Court Judge Robert Brennan barred him from hosting any parties while on probation.

Alford was charged with providing alcohol to minors and keeping a noisy or disorderly house after police were called by neighbors about a loud, large party in the Alford home back on Oct. 13.

One of the underage guests was so drunk, prosecutor Alex Grimes said, that he was arrested for drunken driving. That guest later made headlines because he was allowed to go on Facebook to ask for bail money.

Officers arriving at the party found numerous illegally parked cars and were confronted by angry youths refusing them entry to the home. Eventually, police went inside through an open door, citing at the time a “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment.

Grimes said police found numerous containers of alcohol, all in plain view, and young guests who ranged in age from 17 to 25.

Alford, who also pleaded guilty in an unrelated case in which he was caught driving with a suspended license, was sentenced by Brennan to a year in jail, which was suspended, and two years of probation, and a second six-month suspended sentence. The judge ordered that if Alford violates his probation, he will have to serve the two jail terms consecutively, for a total of 18 months.

Among the conditions of his probation, besides six months of house arrest and no parties, are an alcohol monitoring device in his home and random alcohol and drug tests.

He was fined $500 on the driving violation.

Alford, who uses a wheelchair, lost both of his hands as a result of an infection following surgery, he said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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