Midtown Raleigh News

Couple, son charged with helping underage teens drink before 1 died in crash

A couple and their 18-year-old son face criminal charges of letting another teen drink liquor at their house shortly before he died in a car crash on Hunting Ridge Road earlier this summer.

A clerk in a Cameron Village liquor store has also been charged with selling alcohol to a minor.

Charles Joseph Matthews, 59, Kimberley Hunt Matthews, 52, and Thomas Blake Matthews, 18, surrendered to authorities Tuesday afternoon at the Wake County Detention Center.

Alcohol Beverage Control agents charged Charles and Kimberley Matthews with four misdemeanor counts each of aiding and abetting underage drinking on June 28 at the Matthewses’ home on Vance Street in Five Points neighborhood.

The underage drinkers were Thomas Blake, Jonathon Gregory Taylor, 18, Mary Ann Ergish, 18, and Natalie Freeman, 17, according to ABC agents. The event was a wedding-related party, the agents said.

Thomas Matthews was charged with illegally buying a 375-milliliter bottle of Jack Daniels Honey liquor from the Wake County ABC store at Cameron Village and with giving liquor to three underage people.

The clerk, James Gordon Wilson, was charged with selling spirituous liquors to a person under 21.

Shortly before midnight that Saturday, Taylor was killed when the 2008 BMW he was driving ran off the left side of Hunting Ridge Road near Tanbark Way. Raleigh police accident investigators estimated he was going 89 mph when the car left the road.

The car had slowed to about 63 mph when the driver’s side hit a tree, according to a police report.

Each of the Matthews was released on $50,000 bail.

All are scheduled to appear in Wake County District Court on Sept. 19.

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