YORK COUNTY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) A York County woman pleaded guilty to giving alcohol to a teenager who died from alcohol poisoning in 2018.
Kelly Hedrick, 29, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by 18 months of probation on charges of voluntary manslaughter and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, court testimony showed.
Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson said Shelby Brakefield, 16, died after consuming alcohol purchased by Hedrick. Brakefield was a junior at York Comprehensive High School.
Hedrick knew one of the teenagers and purchased three bottles of vodka for the girls at a York ABC store, Thompson said. The friends were having a sleepover at Shelby Brakefield’s house, and posted videos on Snapchat throughout the night.
“You can see where they begin to basically chug some of the vodka, which all of us know is a very bad thing to do,” said Thompson.
Shelby Brakefield’s parents were home during the sleepover, but didn’t know the girls were drinking. Shelby Brakefield’s mother, Michelle Brakefield, said Shelby Brakefield’s friends ran to get her when they couldn’t get her to wake up the next morning.
“I kept rubbing her head, screaming ‘Why? Oh, God, why my baby girl? Screaming Shelby’s name over and over,” remembers Michelle Brakefield.
Michelle Brakefield says her daughter was a straight A student and dreamed of becoming a nurse.
“Shelby was looking forward to graduating, and in her mind she wanted to save the world,” testified Michelle Brakefield.
Hedrick apologized in court, saying she hopes one day the family will be able to forgive her.
“I will forever have to live with this, because my intentions were never for anyone to get hurt,” said Hedrick.
Hedrick is also a mother, but lost custody of her daughter following the investigation.
“What I think the message is that people need to take from this,” said 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, “If you sell alcohol to a minor, or you deliver alcohol to a minor, you are literally placing your freedom in their hands. Because if someone dies as a result, you will be held accountable.”