Two men charged in death after purchasing
alcohol for teens
News & Record
Posted 7:30 a.m.
RUTHERFORDTON (AP) -- Amanda Sue Ross told jurors Tuesday that
she takes responsibility for the drunken driving death of her good friend
Michelle Mull because she was at the wheel.
But prosecutors want more. They want jurors to extend the line of
responsibility to the two men who purchased alcohol for the teen-agers
before they crashed.
Gaston County prosecutors have brought involuntary manslaughter
charges against Jason Eric Pruett, 22, of Ellensboro, and Andrew Scott
Marsh, 21, of Mooresboro, for their alleged role in the wreck.
"The crime was giving these 17-year-old girls alcohol," Assistant District
Attorney Charles Walker said during a hearing on Tuesday. "This case is
not about the wreck. This case is about why this wreck happened."
Defense attorneys for say the driver's actions don't logically extend to
those of their clients.
"The state is asking you to get clever and say these two guys made her
do it," said Brian Oglesby, attorney for Marsh. "She caused this
Ross also faces involuntary manslaughter charges for the Jan. 20 wreck
just north of Bessemer City. She told jurors on Tuesday about meeting
Pruett at a high school wrestling match, arranging a double date for the
next night and how the foursome cruised around in Marsh's Toyota
pickup, stopping twice so the men could buy drinks.
Ross testified it was Mull who asked the men to buy Smirnoff Ice, an
alcoholic drink she said tastes like lemonade.
Later in the evening as they prepared to depart the men, Mull told Ross
that she didn't feel she could drive. Ross volunteered to drive, saying she
felt fine. Ross told the jury both men where within earshot of this
On cross examination, Ross said she had only a learner's permit at the
time of the wreck, not a driver's license.