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Local News

February 1, 2013

Mom, son admit roles in underage drinking party

PEABODY — A mother and son have admitted to charges stemming from a 2011 underage drinking party at their Peabody home, where another teenager drank enough alcohol to register a 0.2 blood alcohol level when he crashed his car into a house after leaving the gathering.

Deborah Arnott, 42, and her son Brandon Arnott, 18, both of 31 Elizabeth Lane, were charged following the Dec. 10, 2011, house party where Robert Habeeb Jr. and 19 other teens were guests, said a spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Habeeb, 19, was sentenced this past November to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to drunken driving and driving to endanger. He was nearly killed when the Chevrolet Monte Carlo he was driving at 109 mph hit a stone wall and then a house near his home.

A teenage girl who also drank at the party was arrested that night on drunken-driving charges but was later acquitted.

On Wednesday, both Arnotts appeared in Peabody District Court, where Deborah Arnott pleaded guilty to violating the social host law by allowing the teens to drink in the home and Brandon Arnott admitted to sufficient facts on a charge of misleading police.

Deborah Arnott was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $500 by Judge Richard Mori. Prosecutor Aimee Conway had been seeking a sentence of at least six months behind bars, as well as additional suspended time and probation.

Her son’s case was continued without a finding for 18 months, after Brandon Arnott’s lawyer, Carmine Lepore, raised concerns about the effect a felony conviction would have on the teen’s ability to attend college or get jobs in the future.

The prosecution had also sought six months in jail for Brandon Arnott.

Conway told Mori during the hearing that Deborah Arnott “ignored her responsibility” as a parent when she arrived home at 10 p.m., found the teens in her house and then went to bed. She allegedly told the teens to sleep over that night.

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