SHELTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Shelton couple is accused of allowing minors to drink alcohol at a party at their house, which police said led to some teens going to another house, where a 17-year-old Fairfield College Prep student was stabbed to death during a fight.
Police arrested 59-year-old Paul Leifer and 51-year-old Susanna Leifer and charged both with permitting minors to possess alcohol. Susanna Leifer is also charged with second-degree endangerment.
A fight broke out during a party on May 14, 2022, at the Leifer’s home on Lazy Brook Drive. Police said some teens left that party to go to another home on Laurel Glen Drive, where another fight took place.
James “Jimmy” McGrath, a 17-year-old Fairfield College Preparatory School student, was stabbed to death during the altercation on Laurel Glen Drive. Three others were also stabbed.
Police said several high school students attended the party where alcohol was present at the party on Lazy Brook Drive and that Susanna Leifer interacted with some attendees. Investigators have not elaborated on what those interactions were.
Raul “Lito” Valle of Milford is charged with murder in McGrath’s death and three counts of first-degree assault.
Valle remains under house arrest after posting a $2 million bond. He’s due back in court on April 2.
The Leifers were released on promises to appear in court on April 3.
Local legal expert Brig Smith shared the following statement with News 8 on what challenges the parents can expect:
“There are a couple of things you have to be worried about when it comes to alcohol and minors. There’s the civil side, someone sues you in court for money or the criminal side. Now here in this case it’s the criminal side and a prosecutor swore on a warrant, and a judge found probable cause. Now this couple is looking at 1 year in prison for $2K in fines and six months and $1K for the other you just never know what can go wrong, and if something goes wrong, it goes right back to the parent, even under the relaxed standards if it’s your own kid.”