Young girl hospitalized after drinking; woman charged with neglect

13-year-old was unconscious when she was returned to parents

LAKE CITY, Fla. – After an unconscious 13-year-old girl was admitted to a Lake City hospital with a blood alcohol level of 0.371 -- more than four times the legal limit for a drunk driver -- police arrested the woman who they said watched the teen drink two half bottles of liquor.

According to the Lake City Police Department, the teenager's boyfriend called her parents Sunday to say she had been consuming alcohol and needed to be picked up. When they met at the Walmart on U.S. 90, she was unresponsive and they called 911. The girl was hospitalized in critical condition.

Police learned the girl had been at the Lake City home of 32-year-old Stephanie Havir. 

"There’s a lot of children that came and went continuously at all hours. A few times, we went over and told them to keep it down because, at 2 o’clock in the morning, you’ve got partying going on. You got screaming, yelling and fighting," neighbor Dorothy Merrifield told News4Jax. 

In addition to the alcohol, officers said they found drug paraphernalia on the property, learned that other minors living in the home were unkempt and found the home to be in unsuitable living condition. The Department of Children and Families responded and tested Havir. Police said her hair tested positive for marijuana.

"It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life," Merrifield said of the condition of her neighbor's home. "There was a lot of trash. There was a lot of dog poop and urine and dishes that had mold growing on them.”

Havir was arrested and is being charged with three counts of child neglect without bodily harm and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. As of Tuesday evening, Havir remained in the Columbia County jail on $81,000 bond, according to online jail records. 

“It is dreadful for children of any age to be subject to such neglect,” Lake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore said. “Thankfully, the diligence of multiple agencies ensured the best possible outcome for all children involved.”

According to the neighbor, Havir has two children. It's unclear who currently has custody of them.

About the Authors: