Downtown Milaca, Minnesota
MILACA, Minn. -- A 17-year-old high school student who became extremely drunk May 27 said he consumed the alcohol at a graduation party held on the Mille Lacs County Attorney's property.
"You're mad, but you're also scared and worried, concerned," Kim Hamilton, the teen's mother, told KARE.
She said she thought her son was at his uncle's place, and never knew he had gone to a party. He later told her that he found out about it on Facebook, where other students were posting updates about the gala.
Hamilton said she and her husband, Chad Hamilton, were stirred from their sleep early on the morning of May 27 when two of her son's friends drove into her yard in a panic.
"They came in the house yelling, and told us he was outside and they were very sorry he was drunk," she recalled.
"They asked if we could come out and help them, that he needed to be looked at or helped."
She called 9-1-1 and he was taken to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton because he was unresponsive. He didn't regain consciousness until six hours later, according to Hamilton.
"We'd been there more than an hour and I asked the doctor, I just said, 'Is my kid going to be okay?' And he said, 'I don't know that right now'."
She learned her son had consumed half of a 1.76 liter bottle of vodka in a very short period of time, and that his blood alcohol level was 0.21, nearly three times the state's legal limit for drivers.
The teen told his parents and local sheriff's investigators that he'd become drunk at a graduation party along the West Branch of the Rum River, west of Milaca.
The party was on the property of Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude, and her husband Russ Jude, a Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department investigator.
Because of a possible conflict of interest, the case was turned over to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.
"The implication is that there were juveniles that brought the alcohol to her property and consumed it there," Commander Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office told KARE.
He said a detective has been in the Milaca area, 70 miles north of the Twin Cities, question both teenagers and adults to establish a set of facts and determine who was responsible.
"If you're going to an investigation properly and fairly you look at responsibility on everybody's part," Commander Sommer explained.
"We were asked to do a criminal investigation so we were looking at it from the standpoint of criminal charging of individuals."
Jan Jude said it's possible that several teens showed up at her daughter's graduation party May 26 without being invited, but that nobody has substantiated yet that the Hamilton's son was at the party.
The area where the drinking allegedly occurred was next to the river bank, in an area that was not entirely visible from the Jude home.
"I had no knowledge of any of these events occurring on my property until these reports were brought to my attention and would not have tolerated it had I known," Jan Jude wrote in a prepared statement.
"It is my hope that this investigation will reveal all of the facts about what actually occurred and, perhaps more importantly, who provided alcohol to any minors who consumed alcohol on that date."
Kim Hamilton said she was hoping for an apology from the Jude family, because of what she believes took place at the party.
"If you're admitting this is a graduation party, where were you?" Hamilton remarked.
"I mean if you're having a graduation party for your child, you should be there."
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