February 6, 2013

Two versions of teen party given at Falmouth couple's trial

A prosecutor says they did nothing to stop teen drinking. They say the party got out of control.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Barry and Paula Spencer of Falmouth give each other comfort on Monday just before District Attorney Stephanie Anderson and attorneys for the Spencers gave opening arguments in the trial.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographe

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Barry Spencer listens as the judge gives the jury instructions prior to opening arguments on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Donovan, now 19, said she arrived with a backpack filled with beer and that no one at the party told her drinking was not allowed.

Donovan said the "majority" of the people at the party were drinking openly, that teenagers were playing a "beer pong" drinking game in the basement and that Nick Spencer had told them to put their empty beer cans in a plastic trash bag.

Donovan said when police arrived the second time, an officer pulled her to the ground when she tried to run. She was not charged and was promised immunity in exchange for her testimony, she said under cross-examination by McKee.

A 17-year-old Falmouth High student said she was given a beer at the party by a boy she didn't know and that her friends shared their mixed alcoholic drinks with her.

She said she was not told that drinking was not allowed, but said she saw Barry Spencer in the driveway after police came the first time and that partygoers tried to hide their alcohol after that.

"It definitely quieted down some, but there were definitely some kids that were still drinking," she said.

The teen testified she tried to drive home but was pulled over and taken into custody after she registered 0.03 percent blood alcohol level on a breathalyzer test. She lost her driver's license and was grounded by her parents into the following school year, she said.

The Falmouth case has sparked discussion on the Falmouth School Board about teenage substance abuse and parental responsibility.

Among the most controversial proposals from the board is a "knowingly present" clause, which would hold students responsible for illegal activity at a party they attend, even if they don't do anything wrong themselves.

The draft policy, which still requires a vote by the board, is to be presented at a board workshop at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Falmouth Elementary School.

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at


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Additional Photos

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William Childs, attorney for Paula Spencer, pours a glass of water as she listens to the judge give instructions to the attorneys before opening arguments.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Walter McKee, attorney for Barry Spencer, gives his opening arguments. The Spencers allegedly provided a place for underaged people to drink.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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Flanked by the court reporter and the judge, District Attorney Stephanie Anderson gives her opening argument at the trial of Barry and Paula Spencer of Falmouth. Walter McKee, attorney for Barry Spencer, gives his opening arguments. The Spencers allegedly provided a place for underaged people to drink.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

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