A husband and wife from Wyoming have been charged in the July 7 death of the woman’s 16-year-old son, after encouraging him to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning. Joseph M. Richardson and Paulette L. Richardson thought they were teaching her son a “lesson” by having him drink until he got sick. An autopsy revealed the teen’s blood-alcohol level was at 0.587 percent.

They Richardsons claim the teen had expressed desire to drink for the past three years, reports CBS News. Court documents stated that Paulette Richardson told authorities her son’s biological father was an alcoholic, and that she didn’t want him to turn out the same way.

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According to the Uinta County Herald, the teen allegedly began drinking around 8:30 p.m. and was ready for bed by 10:30 p.m. This means in just two hours, he ingested enough alcohol to bring his blood-alcohol level to almost seven times the legal driving limit. At around 3:45 a.m. he was found unconscious. The Richarsons have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The couple is currently in the county jail, awaiting a preliminary court hearing scheduled for this Friday.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image of Paulette L. Richardson via AP.