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07-11-06, 03:58 PM #1
Mother charged for throwing beer bash for her 18 year old son
A Farmington woman charged with serving alcohol to minors at her son's birthday party was jailed Monday for 48 hours for violating her probation by that action.
The March arrest of Dawn A. Bracone, her husband and their adult daughter for allegedly permitting underage drinking at the January beer bash in their million-dollar Devonwood home drew public outrage.
"They certainly raised to a new level the visibility for cause and concern about underage drinking parties being hosted at private homes," said Craig Turner, vice chairman of the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking.
Hartford court marshals led Bracone, 44, away without handcuffs Monday after she surrendered during her 10-minute appearance before Superior Court Judge Leslie I. Olear.
Standing with her lawyer, Alan J. Sobol, Bracone answered "yes" when Olear asked whether she was guilty of violating her probation on a reckless-driving conviction last August, seven months before her arrest in the keg party case. Bracone had been convicted for her involvement in a two-car accident in front of a Plainville bar in April 2005 that injured three people. Holding the party violated her probation.
While Bracone's jail term is for the probation violation, Turner said the incarceration and the penalty she still faces for the underage drinking incident are "a tangible and a reasonable response by the system to a very dangerous behavior."
Olear agreed with Sobol's request to alert the jail's medical staff that Bracone was complaining of heart palpitations just before her court appearance. Sobol and state prosecutor Tom O'Brien said Bracone is most likely to be incarcerated at York Correctional Facility.
Bracone will be back in court Wednesday to enter a plea and be sentenced on a reduced charge of reckless endangerment for serving alcohol to minors at her 18-year-old son's birthday party. Authorities say the party drew more than 150 adult and underage revelers to their home. A scanner was used to watch out for police, and bouncers guarded the front door.
Bracone, her husband Paul J. Bracone, 50, and their 21-year-old daughter, Christina N. Bracone, were each charged with risk of injury to a minor and delivery of alcohol to a minor, both felonies, and faced up to 10 years in prison.
As part of a plea arrangement that will spare their daughter jail time, Paul Bracone pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. He received a one-year suspended sentence and two years' probation. He also was ordered to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and must contribute $1,000 each year he is on probation to the Farmington schools for underage drinking awareness education.
Dawn Bracone is expected to receive the same punishment when she pleads and is sentenced on Wednesday.
The high profile of the Bracones' case made them poster parents for a new law enacted in the recent legislative session that makes it illegal for any adult to serve alcohol to a minor - even to that adult's own child - on private property. The Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking supported the law.
"This goes to the heart of steps the state has taken not to tolerate any behavior that puts kids at risk," Turner said.
Sobol said he will withhold comment on his clients' behalf until after Wednesday's court proceedings.
Felony charges against Christina Bracone will be dropped in exchange for her having completed 100 hours of community service at a homeless shelter in New Haven, Sobol said. Christina Bracone is due in court in August to answer the charges, Sobol said.
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