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Teen Charged in Alcohol Child Abuse Case

Two teens face alcohol based Child Abuse charges for showing poor judgment in how they rang in the New Year.  Tyrale Haselrig-Graham, and Skyler Dematteo, both 18 year-old high school students, were drinking and allegedly giving a 9 year-old boy enough alcohol (vodka) that the boy had to be taken to the hospital.

The teens were drinking at the home of the victim that night while his mother was away, The Denver Post reports.  At present, Haselrig-Graham has been accused in the case, facing charges of child abuse causing serious bodily injury and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which are class 3 and class 4 felonies.  Skyler Dematteo, who is a neighbor to the boy, was also facing charges.

The Denver District Attorney's Office is considering a plea agreement to a reduced charge of negligent child abuse, with probation.  Dematteo, was awaiting the appointment of a public defender for his preliminary hearing.  Even with a plea agreement, these young men now face the possibility of having a life long criminal record. 

Decisions made while under the temporary influence of alcohol can have lasting consequences.  Many of the cases we are involved in result from young adults not being responsible while drinking.  In Colorado, you must be twenty-one years old to consume alcohol.  Perhaps the reason our legislature made this rule of law is because of instances like this, where the judgment of young adults is impaired by alcohol.  We strongly advise against drinking until twenty-one years of age.  After reaching twenty-one, drink responsibly and never give alcohol to underage persons.  In Colorado, you can be charged with the class four felony of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, if you furnish alcohol to a minor.

If you or someone you know is contacted by police or charged with a crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719.  Together, we can protect your future.

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