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Berry St. Jean Haverhill

Haverhill, Massachusetts

Michael Berry (deceased)

Nancy St. Jean (social host)

Nancy St. Jean, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, was a mother who allowed her teenage daughter Ashley to have weekend parties in her home. St. Jean was present at the times of these parties and was allegedly aware of the consumption of alcohol by minors in her home.

Sixteen year old Michael Berry attended a party at the St. Jean residence on the night of December 13, 2003. Sometime after midnight, Berry was asked to leave, or thrown out, due to belligerent behavior. Angered and intoxicated, Berry punched through a plate glass window, severely cutting his hand and arm. He then wandered away from the site of the party, only to be found a day and a half later on a neighbor's porch, dead from blood loss and exposure.

Under the recently amended Social Host Law, first enacted in 2000, four years following the death of Gregory Smith, Judge Robert Brennan of the Haverhill District Court sentenced St. Jean to six months in state prison and imposed a $2,000 fine for allowing the drinking party in her home that led to Berry's death. She was the first person in Essex County imprisoned for violating the Social Host law.

For more information: Boston Globe 10-6-2004