Police arrest man in connection with teen death
21-year-old in jail on suspicion of contributing to a minor
November 12, 2008
A 21-year-old Craig man was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Moffat County Jail on suspicion of buying alcohol for minors, one of whom died in an alcohol-related accident.
Christopher Wilson, 17, of Craig, died Oct. 26 after accidentally falling 65 feet from the Sandrocks. A resident reported the body to police.
Wilson, a Moffat County High School junior, had attended a party the night before and reportedly was drinking.
After a Craig Police Department investigation, with assistance from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, determined the cause of death as accidental, the investigation turned its focus to alcohol at the party.
Wilson was legally intoxicated at the time of death, Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.
Police arrested Michael Daniel Satterwhite on Wednesday morning on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Class 4 felony. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, he had not been formally charged in Moffat County Court.
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Satterwhite posted $10,000 bond Wednesday and was released from custody.
Vanatta said there are no other suspects in the case.
According to an arrest affidavit, a vehicle was found at the Sandrocks scene registered to Wilson’s parents.
During a search of the vehicle, police found a backpack, which had bottles of beer and alcohol and a flask inside.
Witnesses, who were minors, told police Satterwhite had purchased alcohol for them at a Craig liquor store, according to the affidavit. A clerk at the liquor store also confirmed to police, the affidavit reads, that she remembered selling Satterwhite a case of beer Oct. 25, the day before Wilson died.
Wilson, according to the report, paid for part of the beer.
Satterwhite denied buying beer for minors during an interview with police, according to the affidavit.
Matt Beckett, Moffat County director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, an organization designed to curb youth substance abuse, said he thinks the arrest may send a message to the community about providing alcohol to minors.
“I think it sends a message to anyone – there are legal ramifications of serving minors,” Beckett said. “Hopefully, it’s something that helps the community see that this is a true problem in Moffat County.”
Grand Futures, Beckett said, is lobbying city officials to approve a social host ordinance, a law that would hold accountable property owners who allow underage drinking on their property.
An age groups that concerns Grand Futures in particular in regard to providing minors is the 21 to 24 years old demographic, Beckett said.