Sikeston couple faces alcohol charges

Friday, June 1, 2007

BENTON, Mo. -- A Sikeston, Mo., couple is facing 30 state misdemeanor charges apiece for allegedly supplying alcohol to minors at a party earlier this month.

The charges were filed Thursday against Mark Cheatham, 48, and his wife, Terry Brewer-Cheatham, 47. All 30 charges are for supplying alcohol to a minor.

On May 20, Sikeston police were called to the Cheatham residence at 123 Greenbrier Drive in Sikeston to investigate a complaint of loud music and underage drinking at a high school graduation party. Police found several minors with alcohol and a host who said the minors would be drinking somewhere and that they felt safer if the activity was supervised by an adult, according to the police's incident report.

The Cheathams were initially cited with Sikeston municipal violations for supplying alcohol to minors. Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd couldn't be reached to comment on why he decided to pursue state charges against the couple.

Along with the charges filed against the couple, Boyd's office also released a probable-cause statement supporting the charges that listed the names of 30 people ages 17 to 20 from towns around Southeast Missouri and from Cairo, Ill., who were issued citations for being minors in possession of alcohol.

Of those, 21 were 2007 graduates of Notre Dame Regional High School, one a 2007 Jackson High School graduate and one a 2007 graduate of Central High School in Cape Girardeau. Those cited for underage possession will face fines in Sikeston municipal court if convicted.

The Cheathams couldn't be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said the couple were not in custody at the Scott County Jail. Many people charged with misdemeanors aren't arrested but issued summonses directing them to appear in court, Walter said.

Each count of supplying alcohol to a minor carries a maximum punishment of six months in the county jail and up to a $500 fine.

335-6611, extension 182

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