Rockland woman sentenced for providing liquor to girls

Posted:  Monday, October 16, 2017 - 1:00pm

ROCKLAND — A Rockland woman was sentenced to 364 days in jail for providing alcohol to two female teenagers, who were later put on life support for alcohol poisoning.

Brenda Shepard, 65, of Rockland, appeared in Knox County Unified Court Oct. 12 and received a full sentence of 364 days in jail with all but 50 days suspended and one year of probation for furnishing liquor to a minor. Two additional charges of furnishing liquor to a minor were dismissed.

Shepard had pleaded guilty to two counts of furnishing liquor to minors Oct. 11, 2016, in Knox County Unified Court.

She was placed on a deferred disposition for one year as part of her guilty plea. If she complied with all of the conditions of her deferred disposition, the felony crimes would  be reduced to misdemeanors, according to the court documents.

The conditions of the deferred disposition included not using or possessing any alcohol or illegal drugs, random searches, and no contact with the victims. Additionally, she was ordered to undergo substance abuse and mental health counseling and participate with the Restorative Justice Project.

If all of the conditions were successfully met with the deferred disposition for the next 12 months, she would receive a sentence of 364 days in jail with all but 90 days suspended and one year of probation.

The amount of the suspended sentence was reduced from 90 days to 50 days at the Oct. 12 court hearing.

Shepard’s grandson, Ryan Newbert, 20, of South Thomaston, was also involved in the incident. He was charged by Rockland Police on two counts of furnishing liquor to minors and two counts of aggravated unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs.

Newbert was sentenced to prison Dec. 28, 2016, since he did not comply with the terms of his deferred disposition. (Read: Man who provided alcohol, drugs to teenagers sentenced to prison)

According to the court documents, Officer William Smith responded to a call Feb. 29, 2016, about a man witnessing what appeared to be an unconscious female “being stuffed into a car” near a Dunkin Donuts before it sped off traveling northbound on Main Street in Rockland. Smith located and stopped the vehicle on Camden Street and immediately noticed two unconscious females in the back seat. Rockland EMS transported the girls to Pen Bay Medical Center, in Rockport, where they were put on life support before being flown via LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center in Portland. 

A store video confirmed that Shepard and her grandson entered the store together where he selected the half-gallon of vodka and she made the purchase. 

When police interviewed Shepard, she initially denied being involved in the incident, but quickly changed her story and admitted that she purchased the alcohol with her grandson, according to the police affidavit. 

Rockland Sgt. Don Finnegan said in an earlier press release that both victims were successfully treated and were doing well.  

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