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Trial starts Monday for couple accused of giving alcohol to Red Lion teens killed in crash

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

Trial begins Monday for a Windsor Township couple accused of providing alcohol to two Red Lion football players who died a few hours later in a fiery crash.

Stephen D. Tierney and Jodie L. Tierney, both 46, also are accused of repeatedly providing alcohol to their older son and their son's friends.

Cody Stern, a 2014 Red Lion Area Senior High School graduate, front, is comforted by Red Lion student Lindsay Wilhelm at a memorial built at the base of a utility pole on Slab Road in Lower Chanceford Township for their friends and classmates Stone Hill and Nicholas Mankin on the day after the two Red Lion students died in a fiery crash.
(Dawn Sagert photo)

Their trial is set to begin in York County Court with jury selection, according to court records. It's expected to last two weeks.

Defense attorney Tom Kelley, who represents Stephen Tierney, declined immediate comment. Attorney Doug Bare, who represents Jodie Tierney, could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

'This has got to stop': Just a couple of hours before an intoxicated Stone Hill crashed his SUV into a telephone pole, killing himself and fellow Red Lion football player Nicholas Mankin, their friend's father, Stephen Tierney, told his wife, "This has got to stop," according to testimony from the couple's preliminary hearing more than a year ago.

State police allege the Tierneys gave alcohol to Red Lion Area Senior High football players Stone, 17, and Nick, 16, who were killed when Stone's Toyota 4Runner crashed into a pole, flipped and burst into flames. It happened in the 200 block of Slab Road in Lower Chanceford Township just after 7 p.m. June 16, 2015.

Jodie Tierney

Under questioning by prosecutor Tim Barker, Argento said his son spent most of his weekends at the Tierney home and usually slept over one of those nights. He said he had no idea his son and other teens were allegedly allowed to drink there. His son later testified he didn't tell his father about the drinking because he didn't want to get in trouble.

Red Lion HS football players mourn 2 teammates

Son unresponsive: The father said he arrived at the Tierneys' 80 Percheron Drive home in Windsor Township about 4:15 p.m. and found his son facedown on a bed, unresponsive. He said it took him two or three minutes of "yelling, grabbing, smacking and shaking" to get a response from his son, who simply moaned and made noises.

Stephen Tierney

That's when the Tierneys arrived home and apologized, according to Argento.

Argento testified he overheard Stephen Tierney tell Jodie Tierney, "This has got to stop."

Less than three hours later, Stone and Nick would be dead in an alcohol-fueled crash, according to police.

The crash: State police said Stone was driving drunk. Testing determined his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash was 0.094 percent. In Pennsylvania, adults are driving drunk at 0.08 percent; drivers under 21 aren't permitted to drink.

Stone Hill

Trial closer for couple accused of giving beer to Red Lion teens who died in crash

Colarusso attributed the crash to excessive steering for the speed Stone was traveling, exacerbated by alcohol impairment.

Trooper Evan Buehrer testified at the couple's preliminary hearing that when he arrived at the scene of the crash, it was too late to try to help anyone inside.

"The vehicle was fully engulfed in flames," he said. "The vehicle was so badly damaged and burned it was difficult to tell (make, model or color)."

Nick Mankin

'Most weekends': Cody Heffner testified that their group of friends, which included the Tierneys' older son, hung out at the Tierney home "most weekends" between December 2014 and June 2015. He estimated they drank alcohol there a total of eight to 10 times, almost always in the basement.

Red Lion students (from left) Desaree Ware; 2014 graduate Sierra Howard; Cheyenne Waltemire; 2015 graduate Cody Stern; and junior Lindsay Wilhelm gather around a roadside memorial at the base of a utility pole on Slab Road for Stone Hill, 17, and Nicholas Mankin, 16, the day after the two Red Lion students died in a fiery crash there on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
(Dawn Sagert photo)

Nick and Stone, who were close friends, would have been seniors in the fall of 2015, playing for Red Lion's varsity football team, according to their coach, Jesse Shay.

The Tierneys remain free, each on $25,000 unsecured bail, charged with two counts each of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment and one count of furnishing minors with alcohol and corruption of minors.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

Editor's note: This article was updated to correct information regarding whom the Tierneys provided alcohol to.