Innocent Plea In Drinking Death

MOUNDSVILLE — A Moundsville couple made their initial appearance in court Wednesday to answer charges of child neglect resulting in death after a 17-year-old boy died in their home from acute alcohol poisoning.

Archie and Sabrina Stevey sat on opposite sides of the courtroom awaiting arraignment, but only Sabrina Stevey was arraigned.

Judge Mark A. Karl announced that due to a scheduling conflict, Archie Stevey’s attorney, Robert McCoid, could not be present for his client’s arraignment. As a result, Archie Stevey’s case was continued until 10 a.m. April 8.

Meanwhile, Chad Groome, attorney for Sabrina Stevey, requested that the court enter an innocent plea on her behalf. Karl granted that request after Stevey said it was her intention to remain silent at that time.

On March 12, a Marshall County grand jury returned true bills of indictments against the Steveys following the Feb. 10 death of Chaz Lightner. According to Marshall County Prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer, Lightner had been drinking at a party in the Steveys’ home that night, while the couple was not present. He said when they returned home, they went to bed and allowed the drinking to continue.

Hours later, Lightner, 17, died in the home from acute alcohol poisoning after he allegedly drank a fifth of whiskey through a beer bong.

Cramer also said Archie Stevey, upon discovering Lightner’s body early the next morning, ordered the other children involved to clean up all evidence of alcohol in the home, which they did before he called the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department.

Both Archie and Sabrina Stevey have been indicted on one count each of child neglect resulting in death; Archie Stevey also has been indicted on one count of obstructing an officer.

Sabrina Stevey was ordered to appear at 1:15 p.m. April 11 for further proceedings in her case.

Because the indictments were the result of a direct presentment, Karl ordered a personal recognizance bond of $5,000 for Sabrina Stevey. Bond has not been set for Archie Stevey because he has not yet been arraigned. Neither of the Steveys are in jail.