Manslaughter Charges Filed in Connection to Death of Aaron Shirley

August 11, 2010, 2:30 pm UPDATE:

Clarke County Sheriff Tony Roper confirms that his department responded to a report of an intoxicated minor at the Clarke County Fair last night. A juvenile under the influence of alcohol was taken into custody. Roper said, per department policy, the juvenile was turned over to his parents after evidence processing was completed.

This morning a Juvenile Intake Officer made the decision to place the juvenile in custody. The juvenile is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester.

When asked if the juvenile in question is the same young man connected to the accident that killed Aaron Shirley Sheriff Roper replied, “I have no comment.”

Charges Filed Against Driver in Accident

The Clarke County Commonwealth Attorney will prosecute the juvenile driver of the vehicle that killed Clarke County High School Senior, Aaron Shirley. Charges include Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter, Manslaughter, and Driving Under the Influence.

On Wednesday, August 11, 2010, Virginia State Trooper, Kevin L. Myers obtained petitions against the juvenile driver in the matter involving the June 18, 2010 single vehicle truck crash which caused the death of Aaron Shirley. The Juvenile Intake Officer issued the following petitions:

1.  Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter in violation of section 18.2-36.1 B of the Code of Virginia

2.  Manslaughter in violation of section 18.2-36 of the Code of Virginia

3.  Driving Outside Restrictions in violation of section 46.2-334.01 B

4. Driving under the Influence in violation of section 18.2-226 of the Code of Virginia

Aaron Benjamin Shirley - Photo courtesy Enders Shirley Funeral Home

According to Commonwealth Attorney, Suni Perka, the Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter charge and the Manslaughter charge require proof of different  elements.

“The Commonwealth will seek convictions of either of these charges under different theories,” Perka said in a written statement today. “The defendant cannot be convicted of both.”

Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter requires proof of impairment (alcohol and/or drugs) and criminal negligence (callous disregard for human life). Manslaughter, under section 18.2-36, requires proof of criminal negligence.

“I expect that this matter, which at the time, is pending in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, will be returnable for the Defendant’s first appearance on August 13, 2010,” Perka said.

Perka said that the defendant is currently being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Winchester and will remain there until Friday when his detention status will be addressed.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s office also said that because the prosecution involves a juvenile defendant strict confidentiality rules will govern all disclosures.

The circumstances surrounding the accident remain under investigation.

Comments

  1. Mayor Quinsby says:

    Finally the County is doing the right thing. I’ll be praying for a conviction.

    • being fair says:

      He made a very bad decision. He is still legally a child. Go after the person who provided the alcohol.

    • Mr. Burnett says:

      Destroying another child’s life for killing another child involuntarily won’t bring back Aaron Shirley. I’m sure this kid is destroyed enough already knowing what happened through his foolish decisions.
      There are no winners here Mayor and your prosecution is not a victory at all.

      • a concerned parent says:

        No it won’t bring Aaron back but hopefully it will teach a lesson. I have to disagree with you saying that this kid is destroyed enough already. Destroyed so much that he shows up at the county fair intoxicated? That in my opinion shows NO remorse. Isn’t that why Aaron isn’t with us today? These kids (and adults for that matter) need to learn that there are consequences for the actions that we take not. Not just with ourselves but with everyone in our lives.

        • yea right says:

          apparently along with others who were also intoxicated but not even tested. how typical.

        • another parent says:

          Bingo…the voice of reason. At the end of the day Aaron is dead, not “gone”, not “not with us”, the young man is DEAD. His days on earth are over, while the driver is arrested at the fair for drinking. Even if the driver is convicted, he is still alive. Even if the driver is sent to prison, he is still alive and he will be alive when he gets out. On the day he gets out….Aaron will still be dead….

          For the immature followers of these posts, dead is forever….youth does not make you immortal…and actions have consequences.

          Anyone else who is complicit in this tragedy needs to be held accountable as well…and that means individuals who made the alcohol available to minors….

      • Mr Mister says:

        I don’t think victory is been sought. It doesn’t sound like this boy has learned anything from this travesty. I think the boy is destroying his own life. Especially if he continues to drink alcohol and is showing up drunk in public. If he is convicted, maybe he will get the counseling that he and his family have fail to get on their own. He sounds like he is going down a bad road. It would be a shame if he repeats the drinking and driving. Doesn’t make me feel comfortable on the roads. Do you?

    • Captain Huggyface says:

      Now the sheriff’s department, the court system and my tax dollars are tied up with [redacted].

      • Oh gee, we’re so sorry that your tax dollars are paying for the sherriff and the CA to do their job, which is to enforce the laws and protect the citizens. I’m sorry you don’t think that Aaron is worth it. Hopefully you are never touched by the same situation.

    • Anna Murray says:

      Why a conviction? Why not pray for help for the young man in question? Why not pray for help for this community (of which YOU are their leader) to get through this tragedy? Why not pray for the Shirley family? That they might somehow find peace and strength to get through this tragedy? Why not pray for the children of our community, that they might learn a valuable lesson from this tragedy? Why not pray for the parents of our community, that they might also learn a valuable lesson from this tragedy? Why not pray for strength for yourself, to be a fair and just and compassionate leader?

      Vengeance? Is that the only thing that matters to you? I hope that the god to whom you pray exacts more mercy on you than you appear to be showing to others! I will pray for you, Mayor Quinsby.

      With sincerity, Anna Murray

      • Naked Truth says:

        Give me a break. There is a reason for our Judicial system. It is to keep people like you and me safe. Without order is chaos. Just give him a free pass to kill another? He should face his consequences. Looks like his parents have already turn a blind eye up until now. Keep praying for him without any discipline and see what that will get you. Unfortunatly, prayer can’t solve all our problems. But continue to pray for the Shirley family. They are the true victims.

    • Hannah Fanning says:

      “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at him…”
      -John 8:7

      When others are caught in sin, are you quick to pass judgement? To do so is to act as though youve never sinned.It is Gods role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Sure, he should be held accountable for what has happened, but to have the entire community (the community that he loves) attacking him and calling him irresponsible and reckless will not help him get the help he needs. B-ville bud… locking one person up will not eliminate the threat of drunk drivers in clarke county. Since you have admitted to making your own bad decisions, you should understand that kids make mistakes. As a community we need to be behind him, forgiving him of his sins just as Christ has forgiven us. There is no “perfect child” and i gaurantee you that your children will also make bad decisions.
      Again, he should be held accountable but attacking him in this way is not justice.It is merely a way for you and everyone else to feel better about your parenting skills and to deal with the anger over what has happened..

  2. Debacle Watcher says:

    Such a tragedy all the way around. There can be no winners in such a case which is exactly why it must be prosecuted. It should be a wake-up call to anyone who considers drinking and driving – regardless of age.

  3. A concerned parent says:

    I applaud the Commonwealth in taking there time with this case to make sure it was done properly so that a conviction can be obtained. I feel for the Shirley family and hope that they can find some peace when this is over. Unfortunately, I dont think the driver of the vehicle has learned anything from this tragedy. I hope at least some of Aaron’s friends and classmates have. It pains me to hear that they are continuing to drink and party after such a loss. God Bless

  4. Berryville Citizen says:

    Last night at the Clarke County fair, the defendant was found on drugs or under the influence. That shows that he doesnt care, He is all about partying.

    • spectator says:

      why do most people drink heavily or do drugs? its because something is missing in their life or they are upset about something. clearly the defendant is still hurt about the aaron incident and is hurting on the inside. why else would he turn to drugs but to cover the pain. it’s incredibly ignorant to say that the defendant was ‘all about partying’. clearly the defendant is going through hell and doesn’t know how to cope. everyone copes with a loss in different ways, and not everybody has the money or type of family that will take proper action and give the needed counseling.

      • Lonnie Bishop says:

        The probelm with being a spectator is that you really don’t know. This kid is a known partier. Pile on grief on top of his proclivity to get drunk regularly, and he’s drunk at the fair.

        The boy needs counseling, and rehab. Jail will afford opportunities for both.

        • spectator says:

          i do know him personally, he is a good person but made a mistake like many other people. he does need counsiling but a life long sentance is not the way to teach him a lesson. a lesson can only be learned if they have a chance to apply what they’ve learned, which he cannot do with a life sentance

  5. This is a tough call for both sides. Who’s choice was it to ride in the back of the pickup truck? Is it worth ruining a second life over this?

    Similar tragedies has repeated themselves all over the place for years now. And the questions always remaian the same. How did they get access? How can you stop it? Why did they drink and drive?

    • Sorry for the typos! My keyboard on the old laptop is going bad.

      Similar tragedies have repeated themselves all over the place for years now. And the questions always remain the same. How did they get access? How can you stop it? Why did they drink and drive?

  6. Concerned says:

    No brainer here. If you are already an alcoholic or drug addict, good decisions just aren’t made. His parents should have had him in rehab a month and a half ago!!! A situation like the wreck most likely just made him want to zone out even more.

  7. Cat in the Hat says:

    This youth needs to be punished….period! He needs to be held accountable for his actions. This is an appropriate action based on the crime and I am glad that local law enforcement is taking the necessary steps to prosecute this individual.

    Kids are making poor choices….when they do, they have to live with their decisions. This needs to happen more and more. A child died because of this! He’s gone. Someone needs to pay for it….period!

    Mr. Burnett, you must be a liberal considering your remark. We aren’t looking for winners here…..we are looking for justice and now it has been served. If this kid keeps on making poor choices and is never held accountable, what kind of message are we sending to other youths?

    • being fair says:

      To Cat in the Hat:
      Have YOU never made a mistake? Yes, his decision had dire consequences, but, this was not a planned murder. Aaron Shirley was his best friend, do you think that he doesn’t live in agony EVERY DAY since the ACCIDENT? You said “youth” and “punished” in the same sentence. Do you think PRISON is what he needs? You’re very righteous. I’ve lived through very similar circumstances, and trust me, you need not be imprisoned to be punished.

      • Cat in the Hat says:

        I have made plenty of mistakes in my life and have had to answer to them.I teach my children the same…..if you mess up, you have to deal with the consequences of your actions. He needs to answer to his mistakes including this one. Youth or not……he knew what he did was wrong by getting into that driver’s seat and putting himself and everyone in that vehicle in jeopardy.

    • spectator says:

      justice wont bring aaron back. what if it was your child that made such a horrible mistake, would you want them to go to jail and never see them all for the sake of justice?

      • Cat in the Hat says:

        But justice will make him pay for taking another person’s life.

        Yet again, another Liberal…..another person who feels that the accused should be treated differently than any other accused because he’s “suffered enough for losing his friend”……give me a break.

        He deserves to pay for his mistakes and nothing less!

        • cc citizen says:

          Really? Does the liberal card need to be thrown around? That is quite judgmental Cat. I believe he needs to be punished for all the laws he has broken (and I’m a liberal!), however more credit needs to be given to the driver. Although he has made mistakes, you cannot discredit his remorse for Aaron’s death. He just doesn’t see a proper coping mechanism.

        • get a clue says:

          Cat in the hat:Everyone in the truck had the choice to get in or not.They all knew he was intoxicated,and they were as well.Please get off your pedestal because you DIDNT know him or know what hes going through…giving you no say on this situation.I hope one day when you need help from the people around you that they treat you with the same close minded, judgemental attitude you seam to carry.MAJORITY OF TEENAGERS DRINK.I’m sure you,as most parents do,think your “little angels” dont drink or arent going to…but they will.And clearly based off your attitude towards kids and their feelings, im sure your kids want as far away from you as possible.Yes maybe im attacking you right now.BUT YOUR ATTACKING MY FRIEND.and since he cant defend himself…i will. Im sure Aaron would have the utmost respect for you right now for how your speaking about his BEST FRIEND.

          • Cat in the Hat says:

            I understand how hurt you all must be to see your friends go through all of this. It is a horrible situation all around. We are not talking about the rest of the kids who got in the car with him. We are talking about the accused. He made a bad choice as a lot of teenagers do but how does it look to all of us when he shows up at the fair intoxicated after the first incident? We understand that kids will make mistakes and hopefully learn from them but he chose to drink again and show up in public in that state. Now it’s looking really bad for him.

            It’s ok if you attack me. I understand you are hurt, scared, mad, frustrated with the situation and the opinions of others who know or do not know the accused. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

          • spectator says:

            The defendent is not [redacted], by giving him the ultimate punishment, it will not teach every kid out there to not drink or do drugs…Thank you ‘get a clue’ i completely agree. clearly you do not know your kid as well as you think. plenty of kids in high school drink moderately and are fine throughout those four years. i’m not approving underaged drinking, only saying that kids can make the right choices as long as their are given the right knowledge. And if it was your child that this happened to? would you condem him so quickly? you are treating the accused as though they are not a person. yes a punishment should be given but not as severe as you are implying. as you said, everyone has their own opinion and we are expressing ours, not attacking you ‘cat in the hat’. why is the driver any different than the other kids who got in the car, they all had a choice to get in as did aaron.

  8. losing your best friend is enough punishment, teens use alcohol and drugs to forget. there is no reason to hurt the teen anymore than he already has been. losing your best friend that you’ve had your whole life is the biggest punishment of them all.

    • Mr Mister says:

      This is the result of teens using drugs and alcohol. Teens should not have such items. There are other ways to cope. When do you suggest his “punishment” over? How long do you allow him to use illegal drugs and alcohol? There is a reason for an age requirement to purchase alcohol. I feel sorry for this boy, but that said I don’t want him to destroy another life. Which it seems he is destined to do. His parents should have taken him to counseling.

    • Outside looking in says:

      Really, losing your best friend is enough punishment? Using drugs and alcohol is what you think teens should do to forget? You need to step back and look again!!! 1st I could understand giving a second chance to someone if this was the first time the drive had a problem, or drank to much, but do you know who he is? If so than you know this is nothing new to him and that the same person was taken away from the fair last night for being in the same condition

      Does it sound to you like he really understands what he did? Does it!!! Then to say that teens need to forget and to use alcohol and drugs to do so??? Those who fail to learn from their past problem will fail in their future, because they FORGOT!!! So don’t tell me that they need drugs and alcohol to forget, they need help and guidance to coup with what they have done, not to forget it, only to repeat it again and again.

      PS: explain to the Aaron’s family that losing a best friend is all that this person should be punished with!

    • Left Winger says:

      No. The biggest punishment would be sitting in a jail cell for 20 years having to think about what he did. At least in prision he won’t have alcohol to use as a crutch.

  9. As a teenager I have been around situations like this. Yes, losing your best friend this way is hard. And sure, they may use alcohol and drugs to forget, but they are using them illegally. In case you forgot, the legal drinking age is 21. And drugs aren’t legal in any way. So, that is breaking the law right there. Why shouldn’t he be punished for breaking the law? Just because it was his friend does not mean that the law should be bent for him. And I don’t think he learned his lesson at all. He was taken in today for being intoxicated. Does this sound like a lesson well learned? And then there is the other fact that he is being charged for manslaughter. He took a life because he was drinking. And he is continuing to drink more.
    I can’t imagine how hard this is for him to deal with, but he deserves the correct punishment for his actions. How else is he going to learn?
    This is a great example for other teenagers. How one decision of yours can fatally impact some one else.

    • Left Winger says:

      There we go. Snookie is a prime example of a teenager who understands right from wrong and the consequences of wrong decisions. I applaud you and hope that you can help spread your thoughts and feelings throughout the high school.

      • spectator says:

        I agree with snookie, but i feel as if the accused didnt directly take aarons life, everyone in the car was drinking, and it happened that that one person drove.

  10. nancy martin says:

    Who pays for that counseling?

    • yea right says:

      The same people who pay for the absence of it and for his time in jail.

    • Cat in the Hat says:

      Wait a second…..are you suggesting that this individual cannot obtain therapy and/or counseling because their family cannot afford it? Please stop making excuses for this individual. You are treating him like he is the victim! This is what’s wrong with this society…..treating the accused and/or criminal like they are the victim.

      There are plenty of options for this young man to obtain the necessary counseling that he obviously needs. Let’s stop being enablers. It is ultimately the parents responsibility to get the much needed therapy or counseling, there is also insurance, etc…..please stop making excuses for him.

      • get a clue says:

        They are actually quite well off…see you dont know what you are talking about.You sound ignorant and i wish i knew who you were because i want the county to know what a cold hearted resident we have.[redacted]

        • So if they’re so well off, why didn’t they place him in counseling and rehab instead of letting him go out and kill someone?

          Kids, they think they know everything.

          • spectator says:

            ‘get a clue’ is right. You are treating the defendent as though they are not a person at all. humor me for a second, and imagine, really imagine if your child or a kid that you are close to did this. would you condem them so quickly. Sometimes, a kids opinion is the best, because they actually know the people who do this and they understand who they truely are

          • get a clue says:

            Well then the parents should be somewhat held accountable.i agree with that.but what 17 old boy voluntarily goes and gets help on his own,in gerenal, or in this case after his BEST FRIEND DIED.hes dealing with it the best he can.yes not in the right way,but hes doing what he can to keep himself sane at this point.you dont know what he feels and i believe we all need to support him right now because if not we could lose another life over this as well.we need to make the best of this,yes we lost a life but aaron would be so hurt to know the town was attacking his best friend like this.he’d be crushed.stop thinking about what you think is right and think about what aaron would want cuz isnt that what this whole teen awareness is about anyways?trying to do something to make aaron proud? yea its a good thing what these kids/adults are trying to do but they are shoving it down peoples throats and turning this whole thing into a threatening situation.cops are involved now and the town is hurting.that should be a sign to “teen awareness” that they are causing more hurt then help and to cool out for awhile.just step back and put urself in other’s shoes

          • His best friend didn’t die, he was killed.

          • Mr Mister says:

            The only thing I disagree with is that he has been acting and drinking this way for a long time. This is not new to him. He is not showing up intoxicated to cope. [redacted] He shows no remorse.

          • spectator says:

            how do you know that?

        • animus nocendi says:

          Evidently money can’t buy smarts. But it can buy a great lawyer to weasel him out of culpability.

  11. yea right says:

    Again, why are we acting as if the other kids in this sad situation (including at the fair last nite) are innocent? They were all drinking and who knows what else. What if one of them gets a dui tomorrow but they are lucky enough to not kill someone before getting caught? Are they any less guilty? Will they get off because of who their parents are? It seems some adults here are awfully quick to judge when they ought to be thinking “there but for the Grace of God…”.

  12. Great job CC Sherriff’s department! This guy has had way too many opportunities already and has not changed anything. Lock him up & you will save someone else’s child’s life.

    • reasonable says:

      You act as if this person is the ONLY underage drinker in CC.
      I assure you he is not. “locking up” one person will not eliminate the threat of drunk driving.

      Unless you are in his shoes, you have no room to judge.

      What if it were your child?
      Would you be this quick to lock him/her up?
      Would you be this quick to attack them?
      He is a person with feelings. Only he knows what he has or hasn’t tried to change.
      Maybe you should take a step back and look at it through a different pair of eyes..
      If it were you even, how would you feel if the entire county were attacking you?
      My guess.. not so great.

      “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

      • Naked Truth says:

        Right now, he is the only one charged with the death of Aaron. He was dirnking that night and drove the vehicle. That’s why we are focused on him. He or anyone else that drives intoxicated that kills another should and will be judged. The story is written about the driver not the other teens of Clarke County. We are aware that other kids are drinking. Many of us do not approve of this. If it were my child, I would not continue to allow him to “party” and he would not have shown himself in public intoxicated! That shows no remorse and it disrespects the Shirley family. I would continue to love my child ,but realize that he did break the law. It’s tough love. Even if it meant he would have to serve time. I would get him help.

        • Wish there were more people like you in the world. We’d all be a lot safer. It’s the parents who allow this behavior that scare us parents that don’t, because they are making decisions that could affect my family.

  13. cchs student says:

    Yes [redacted] was Aarons bestfriend, but half of you i assume are parents. What if your child died? You would want justice to be served. And for [redacted] to go to the fair drunk???? That just there shows his lack of respect for Aaron (his bestfriend) God bless Aaron and may he rest in peace.

    • Left Winger says:

      Another positive CCHS Student who knows right from wrong. I’m glad to know that my neice has people like you around her at school.

    • get a clue says:

      Yea you must have not known him either…go tell it to [redacted] because all three of you know him “so well”

      • spectator says:

        or how about this left winger, instead of imagining your child was the one that died, imagine if it was your child that killed him… would you still want this justice served.

        • Left Winger says:

          As a good parent…I know all of my child’s close friends and their parents. They are not allowed out past their curfew…I ensure they they abide by the law and only have one teenager in their car at any time. So I doubt that my responsible child would be in such a situation.

          But to answer your question…if my child did kill someone…I would make sure that they take responsibility for their actions

      • Left Winger says:

        I do not know him at all. Based on his actions and I hope not to know him and I hope that my loved ones stay away from him. I just know the facts that have been released. An intoxicated driver accepted passengers in his vehicle wrecked it and killed someone.

  14. berryville says:

    I know this young man pretty well and he is not a bad person. He made some really bad decisions and I do think he should have consequences. But manslaughter? Come on, give him a break, that was his best friend that died.

    Also, think about what you say on here. Students are reading this and you never know their relationship to the people involved in this. Some things I’ve read on here and on facebook have kind of hurt my feelings or offended me. I know the purpose is to voice your opinion but just think about who the reader could be. Just sayin’.

    • Sorry if you are offended on here or Facebook, but please think of the Shirley Family when they have to see the teens still partying and being drunk in public. Also please think about the threats that Teen Awareness is getting and how that makes them feel.

      • spectator says:

        i dont think any real threats are being made against that group. not to mention the fact that the creator of the group, her sister still parties, so what does that say. kids will always party and its ignorant to think otherwise. i know plenty of kids that do “party” but do not drink at these occasions.

        • well you don’t know the true starter of the group, and just because a sister of someone in the group drinks doesn’t mean that person has the same philosophy. Also the threats are perceived as real and are being turned in to law enforcement.

          • spectator says:

            sadly i do know the true creator oh too well. i commend her for creating the group but its tearing up the county. its doing more harm than good right now.

          • So you know Aaron’s sister in law? Well if you do then you would know that what she is doing comes from the heart and wants the teens in this community to wake up.

    • You should look up the definition of manslaughter.

      • Oh my, looks like there’s a LOT of other folks who have come to the conclusion that harsh punishment is the way to go for this drunkard.

        Drop the liberal vs. conservative garbage though, that serves no purpose. The main thing is they got this repeat offender behind IRON bars, which is where he belongs.

        Showing up at the fair drunk/high. Yep, good parenting there!

        • Fly on the wall says:

          Give it a rest, RW. The CA doing her job has got nothing to do with your [redacted]. Like many others have stated, this is one part of the repsonse that’s needed. Save the bravado for the set of “The Expendables 2.”

    • Actually part of the reason I posted earlier was because I know students may be reading this. They need to understand that someone died, because he was killed by the reckless actions of another. FWIW I think that breaking our laws, driving drunk, substance abuse, killing someone, and devastating the lives of others in our community by definition makes you a bad person (at least at this time in your life). I am a CCHS grad from many years ago and have made mistakes myself, but I paid for almost every one of them. I am remorseful for the mistakes I made in my youth and appreciate the forgiveness and understanding of others. To repay that forgiveness & trust I modified my behavior and took some responsibility for my actions. That isn’t happening here.

      • Re: “he was killed by the reckless actions of another”

        Do not forget who jumped into the back of the truck.

        • Mr Mister says:

          Jumping in the back of a truck is not reckless. In fact it is legal for someone over the age of 16. The person who was driving had control of the vehicle.

          • Fly on the wall says:

            It IS reckless when you know your friend is drunk, as were a few others in the cab of that truck.

  15. I would have just a little sympathy for this kid if his alcohol use was a one time, or even infrequent thing.

    But with the comments about how he’s a “known partier”, I say “Bravo” to the Sheriff’s Department for going after him. Take him off the road before he drunkenly runs into other kids or one of us with our kids.

    Ten years in the klink ought to give him time to figure things out

  16. Oh, and lock his “parents” up too

  17. Clarke resident says:

    Yes good point dhr, i dont know much about the teen awareness, but i do know the Shirleys very well, and they are going through the worst time right now, and all the threats and awful comments made towards them, arr un-needed. They dont need that, and I talked to a memeber of the Shirley family, and he said that the threats put on those young children in Teen Awareness are putting stress on them because they dont want that happening to them for trying to make something good out of something so awful. and the courts would have charged him with manslaughter reguardless. You cant just get away with it. Everything you do in life affects you in some way and in this case other people, think about what you do before you do it.

  18. Berryville Resident says:

    Yes he is a minor, and yes he made a terrbile mistake. But to those of you who are so quick to say “give him a break”, if you, your family, or someone you love had been coming around that turn and was struck by this drunken driver would you be so quick to “give him a break”? If your teen is not old enough or mature enough to take responsibily for their own actions, then do not hand them the keys to a vehicle for any reason.

    • spectator says:

      ”, if you, your family, or someone you love had been coming around that turn and was struck by this drunken driver would you be so quick to “give him a break”?”

      if you, your family, or someone you loved had been driving and hit that car, would want them to be subject to the fullest degree of the law. Would you never want to see you cousin per say ever again or your sibling because they got the life sentance? There are always two sides to a story

      • Berryville Resident says:

        Unfortunatly my family had to learn the hard way about the effects of drinking and driving, see my mother was struck by a drunk driver when she was only 16. She was sitting in her car in her own driveway when she was struck. She has had to wear false teeth and has sufferred with her knees her entire life because of this. That is why I do not drink and drive.

        Also, no where in my comment did it mention to lock this kid up for life. However, he does need to be held accountable and punished for what he has done. There may be two sides to every story, but the FACT is he broke the law. And even if he does have to serve time, his family will be able to write, talk to, visit with him, and even one day welcome him back home. Don’t forget that the victim’s family does not have that piece of mind.

        • spectator says:

          but i asked the question of what if someone close to you had made the mistake, wouldnt you want people to view them as a person. im in the wrong ont the other comment then, because i do agree that some form of punishment should be delt yet just not such a severe one. my mom too was hit by a drunk driver when i waws little, and my brother and i were in the car too by the way

          • Berryville Resident says:

            Yes, I would want ANYONE in this position to be held accountable for their actions. And I do think he needs to be treated as a person. Holding him accountable for what he has done is treating him like a person.
            Many (plese note I did not say all) teenagers are always talking about how “unfair” life is when their parents want to keep them from doing what they want and how they are not kids anymore so don’t treat them like it, but when they get into trouble they want to be looked upon as kids that made a mistake. You can’t have it both ways!

  19. Berryville parent says:

    The boy should both face the proper legal consequences and receive counseling/rehab. If throwing him in jail for manslaughter and drinking charges is the punishment for these crimes, then he should have to do his time. However, before he is released back into society, issues behind his substance abuse and the huge burden of guilt he is carrying must be addressed for everyone’s benefit.

  20. Mr Mister says:

    We all felt invincible as teens. Let this be a lesson to those teens and young adults. Anyone who gets behind a wheel of a automobile after drinking is risking thier own or someone else’s life. This is serious. The word “punishment” has been used a lot, but there needs to be some justice for his actions. It seems clear that this boy has not changed his ways much, if he is showing up intoxicated. Where are his parents?
    The sad thing is, this wont be the last time an accident like this will happen. It not about setting examples. It’s about reducing the incidents like this ,and for the safety of our community.

  21. Class of 10 says:

    So I knew shirley pretty darn well as a friend. Aaron would not want any of this to happen. [redacted] is his best friend in the world. Yeah he made a serious bad choice but now its like the county is against him. Its not whats supposed to happen. The people making the most concern don’t even know the real Aaron Shirley. [redacted] has a problem yes but slamming him with all this is ridiculous. Its going to ruin his life. Why ruin his for a mistake and a addiction. And for those of you who think that you KNOW AARON SHIRLEY YOU DONT!! he chose to get in the back of that truck when people were telling him no. whatever im out.

  22. Class of 10 says:

    I know who the real Aaron Shirley is and he would not want any of this to happen due to what happened. And all the kids know this. Parents are tripping and it seems as if the whole county is against a certain individual for what he has done. Yes he made a mistake and has an addiction but beat him down like this. Why take away another youths life for anothers. It just doesnt happen that way. I know the real Aaron Shirley. Send the kid to rehab but not jail time. Especially his senior year. Put a head on your shoulders and a heart in your chest. Think of how Aaron wouldnt appreciate the town at this state over him making a bad choice. Thats my boy and he died from his mistake. Whatever im out. Class of 10

    • Fly on the wall says:

      The “real” Aaron Shirley chose to get in the back of a truck driven by his drunk best friend. It matters not what he would or would not want; he’s not here to ledt that be known. The simple reality is that he’s dead, and now his friend has to face the legal ramifications of his choices. That’s part of life. So, yes, it DOES happen that way. Your post proves why Teen Awareness, SADD, and other efforts are truly needed; it’s your line of thinking that has helped perpetuate these behaviors. [redacted]

      • spectator says:

        the real aaron got in the back so that one of the girls didnt have to. class of 10 is completely and uterly right. you all do not know aaron or the accused for that matter. im sick of all of self-righteous people getting on to hear themself talk, thinking that they know everything. they only know what happened in the news and are ignorant of most else. if they think that thier child doesnt drink, here’s a rude awakening, i guarentee that they have already been exposed by now. sorry went off on a rant

    • So many people defending the driver have also already convicted him. His friends keep saying “don’t send him to jail, give him rehab etc.” The fact that the majority of you have totally skipped the part about innocent until proven guilty, to me shows that subconsciously, you know he is guilty of what he did.

      Don’t just assume he is going to be found guilty. And if he is, don’t automatically assume he is going to get locked away for life. Just because he is being charged doesn’t mean his life is going to end. And just because he has been charged doesn’t mean that the courts aren’t going to take his pain into consideration. At this point, you are best to just accept that this is happening and if you truly feel that he doesn’t deserve this, then support him. Get him help yourself. Peers can change peers far easier than a parent can change a teenager.

  23. cchs student says:

    so im guessing that half of you don’t know the defendant or even Aaron. We all loved Aaron, he was an amazing person, however so is the defendant. Putting him in jail and ruining his life is far from what Aaron would have ever wanted to happen. It was obviously a terrible mistake, and tragedy. All of you are talking about consequences and how he deserves whats coming to him, but i bet 75% of you have no idea what your talking about. If you had half a heart you would see that he made a mistake and the punishment of losing his best friend, being judged constantly, being literally harassed everyday, and having people calling his home and yelling murderer is enough. And yes i know none of you will agree with me, but if all of those punishments were directed toward you, you would have a different opinion on the situation. So unless you actually know what your talking about, or have experienced something similar to this situation stay the hell out of it.

    • You want us to have sympathy and compassion to someone who kills his best friend, then has the unmitigated nerve to show up at the fair drunk??

      Cry me a river. Go grow up. Stay in school.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Listen…this was a tragic incident, and there’s pain galore to go around. However, you play with fire, you will get burned. The driver made a series of poor choices, beginning with the first drink and ending with the death of his friend. However, there are consequences to one’s choices – moral, spiritual, AND legal. This is the way it is here in the real world. To be sure, nobody wants to have to face the harsh realities, but face them we must.

      I feel your pain, but your friend set all these wheels in motion that night, and this week, by choosing to be drunk.

    • Then you, too, fail to understand how society works. But it’s OK to a degree, because if you really are a student, then despite “thinking” you know everything there is to know about the world (We all did when we were 17/18) you really don’t. And that’s OK too. It’s part of the growing process.

      But very soon, you are going to venture out into the world and I have to tell you ,it can be a nasty, ugly place. You’ve already seen a part of it with this horrible incident. But one of the things that keeps the world from getting any uglier and nastier is the law. When you run afoul of it, there are consequences.

      I graduated from CC in the early 80’s and knew RK all my life. I feel terrible for his family. And I’d feel just as badly if some drunk crossed the line and took out a member of your family.

      You don’t see it right now but trust me, we’re all better off with this kid off the road.

    • berryville says:

      i agree! thank you. everything you said is how i feel. it’s the outsiders looking in that are quick to judge him. but they don’t know what he has been through. this is such an awful thing.

    • Left Winger says:

      I wouldn’t say we are in it. “We” as members of this community are sharing our thoughts and opinions on this situation. If you read all of the posts, nearly everyone is disgusted by the turn of events and the underage drinking situation. Maybe using the word punishment is wrong of us. We shouldn’t punish the defendant, but we should seek justice for the loss of a young life. A life that had so much more to give. No one is on here screaming eye for an eye, but we are saying that simple probation and rehab would be a slap on the risk. Would you simply consider it a mistake if a drunk driver took the life of your parents or sibling?

      In the end…two lives are being dramatically affected and the “community” is trying to figure out we can do to ensure that this does not happen again. (I think that it all starts at home, but I aired my opinion on that in a prior news article).

      • Lonnie Bishop says:

        Actually, Right Winger and Cat in the Hat have been pretty vocal on the “throw the book at him” drumbeat.

        • You have come around as well, my friend.

          “Listen…this was a tragic incident, and there’s pain galore to go around. However, you play with fire, you will get burned. The driver made a series of poor choices, beginning with the first drink and ending with the death of his friend. However, there are consequences to one’s choices – moral, spiritual, AND legal. This is the way it is here in the real world. To be sure, nobody wants to have to face the harsh realities, but face them we must.”

    • Cat in the Hat says:

      So we are suppose to have more sympathy for him if we personally know him? We are suppose to have more empathy for him? Could we have more compassion for him? Sure, we could choose to but too many people in this community are furious about this. Underage drinking, driving under the influence, and then continuing to show up to community events while under the influence. Teenagers are told all of the time no drinking and driving!!!

      Your friend made bad choices and now needs to pay the consequences. Plain and simple. I can imagine how horrible he feels for what has happened and he does have to live with his mistake every day but he committed a crime and needs to be held responsible for it. I know this is hard for you and the rest of his friends to watch and i know a lot of the replies on here can hurt.

      As his friend, you could help him to make wiser choices and be there for him through all of this….this is just the beginning and I’m sure it will be harder on him as the days go by. I just hope his parents are also doing what they can to seek the therapy or help that he will need to get through all of this without having to turn to substance abuse again and make another poor choice.

    • Fellow Mother says:

      Dear CCHS student,

      I couldn’t agree with you more!! People need to back off!! This is someone’s child that everyone is talking about. Everyone needs to show some respect, not only for Aaron’s family but for the driver’s. None of this negativity honors Aaron’s memory. Yes, Aaron was a gift from God, but, so is this other child. So, when you think about bashing someone or their family for mistakes made, how about taking that much time to say a prayer for everyone involved and leave the rest up to God.

      • spectator says:

        I completely agree with you. The driver was in charge and he was in front of the wheel, but I think everyone should just imagine it the other way around. It could have SO easily been Aaron driving and the defendent in the back of the truck. Everyone needs to stope being so childish and petty..think about the things that matter and the things that don’t. Calling names and playing the blame game is ridiculous. As for Teen Awareness, I agree with what you’re doing. But instead of bashing teens who party, put some sense into their heads and teach them not to drive when they’ve drank, teach them by cops monitoring the roads at all times. Face it. Teenagers aren’t going to stop partying. I know it sounds harsh but they just aren’t. I know they should, you think if they had a brain they would, but for some reason it just won’t happen. So don’t go around saying you’re awful if you party, make sure they’re smart about it. I’m a student at cchs..so I have some knowledge. And I knew Aaron and the driver quite well.

        • Spongebob says:

          I have a teenager and they have chosen not to drink or do drugs period. Please do not give us the “It’s ok if you party, just make wiser choices” speech. You are young and you will learn in time especially when you have your own children that whole stance just is not good enough for your kids. Why should it be ok now?

          • you are in complete denial “spongebob”. if you are seriously convinced that your kid doesn’t party then you need to get a reality check. It’s the kids that do the most hardcore drugs who have the parents that don’t think they party. [redacted].

          • Spongebob says:

            My dear child, you will understand once you are a parent that values, morals all begin at home, asking questions, being selective where and when my children go out and with whom are a huge reason my children have never tried drugs or alcohol. My children do not go to parties because they too do not want to be around that sort of environment and neither do their friends. We have a good relationship with our children and can talk about anything with them. Surprisingly, our kids do not treat us like we are the enemies. They treat us with respect as we treat them the same way.

            You are young and I understand that kids your age feel they have all of life’s answers figured out. It’s ok. It’s all a part of growing up.

          • Anna Murray says:

            My dear Spongebob,

            Having read through most of these posts, I am struck by your certainty of how well you are raising your children, how well you know them, and how certain that you are that they are doing all things right and good and proper, due, of course, to your excellent parenting! I sure would like to know your real name! I would like to make sure that my child gets to know your children and I would like to know you so that I could learn more about raising the perfect child!!

            You continue to barb the younger folks’ comments with the old, “when you are older and wiser you will understand.” I agree with you that this is often the case. However, as someone who is perhaps even older and perhaps even wiser than you, I can assure you that some parents do everything they possibly can to raise perfect, honest, reliable, kind and good children, only to have them make terrible choices as they grow into adulthood. Sometimes, it’s not even the parents’ fault! On the other hand, I have also known many a fine, upstanding adult who came from a perfectly horrid family with negligent and rotten parents.

            I hope that your children continue to make you the proud parent that you obviously are. I also hope that you can teach them some honesty in public debate by owning up to your own true identity.

            Very truly yours, Anna Murray

          • Naked Truth says:

            There is a difference between being a parent that tries hard to keep their child from drugs and alcohol. And a parent who is fine with their child using drugs and alcohol. I am in my 40’s and was raise by strict parents and Christian faith. They did not drink, I do not drink, and my kids do not drink. When they are older, it’s their choice. I hope they chose wisely. For some of these parents on here saying that the driver needs to cope by drinking is shameful. That is how he got in this situation. It’s not all about control, but reality is drugs and alcohol can in most cases lead to a negative outcome. Why would you want that for any child?

          • Lynette Carlisle says:

            Get real….you need to do just that…..GET REAL. I graduated in 1987 from CCHS and I NEVER one time, got drunk, did any drug. I too have a teenage daughter, who is a rising sophmore, and I can tell you, she has never ever done drugs, or drank. She is a diabetic, and pokes herself 10 times everyday to check BS levels, as well as 4 shots. Her main concern is her life (which she fights for EVERYDAY), her future, and her family. YOU are not being realistic. Not ALL KIDS ARE DOING IT.

          • looking in on it all says:

            let me restate that, the majority of kids are doing it. i admit i go to parties. the only difference is that i know my limit and i never, never get in a car if someones been drinking. once or twice ive called my parents and gotten a talking to but it was worth not having the risk. there are smart students that drink and there are the others. Students can drink and it doesnt affect their life in any way at all, just like the ones that dont drink at all. its wrong to drink underaged but so many, many kids my age and younger are doing it that it doesnt seem as bad. its not an excuse but im just saying that its become something that is slowly getting, not accepted, but normal in society now. Look at europe, the drinking age is 16 for gosh sakes, and by the time they graduate their version of hgih school, drinking just isnt that exciting and much of the allure that it has for american teens is gone. its almost better to introduce it to kids before college, because every person i know thats gone to college without having had a drink in the previous years have gone crazy. while i am not worried in the least about that happening to me because the allure of alchohol is gone for me. ive been exposed to it for so long, its just not that exciting. and apart from what every demeaning parent thinks, this accident has really scared alot of my friends and i, most of which will not stop drinking but its reinforced the idea of making smart decisions. i garentee none of my friends will ever get into a car with a drunk driver

          • looking in on it all says:

            Lynette….yes, of course there are students that don’t drink. If I were a diabetic, I wouldn’t even think of drinking or doing drugs. YOU need to GET REAL. Never did I say that eveyone parties…don’t stretch my words. It’s incredibly ignorant to say that a lot of students don’t party at CCHS, because they do.

        • spectator, thank you! I completely agree!

        • Lonnie Bishop says:

          Doesn’t seem like they’re bashing teens who party. Rather, they’re pointing out the stupidity of the choice to party. One doesn’t need alcohol to have a good time. If one does, that’s a larger problem.

          There is no “smart” way to party as a teen if alcohol and/or drugs are involved – which too often has been the case in this county for too long. The smart choice would be to not party with those substances, to leave such a party if someone brings those substances, and make a call to break it up. If more teens shunned such parties, then the “popular” thing would be to party without alcohol and drugs.

    • Fly on the wall says:

      You can’t cry crocodile tears like you can with your teachers and hope to get another try, or extra credit, or anything like that. The law is the law, and this case is – sadly – pretty gosh darn cut-and-dry. That’s life. If I’m too late with mortgage payments, the bank can take my house. The law says you gotta be 21 to drink, and NO person can drink and drive. It also speaks to curfews for minors, how many minors can be in a vehicle with a minor driver, and a few other regs he broke.

      I don’t agree with the harassing phone calls and all, but this incident has obviously struck a raw nerve with a lot of people.

  24. Concerned says:

    Counseling and rehab could definitely have been obtained for this youth. All his parents had to do was walk in Winchester Emergency room and say he has a substance abuse problem and is a danger to himself and others. The state would have taken him from there and the parents would have had no more say until the state allowed them to. That is so what this young man needed. Believe me the doctors at the rehab would have made him face what he did with NO excuses. Then maybe when the punishment phase happened people would have seen he and his family were dealing with this Very important situation instead of sending him to the fair and football practice.

    • No more football practice for this kid. Why is he even allowed to participate if he has such a substance abuse problem?

      • Because it’s a well known fact that all the athletes are told ahead of time who is getting “randomly” tested and when it will occur.

        • That is an absolutely false statement! Comments like these are exactly what we don’t need!

          • Then why wasn’t this kid ever caught? He’s been an athlete for several years.

            Third party testing should be performed COMPLETELY un-announced. Nobody but the testing group should know when it will happen.

          • looking in on it all says:

            i played 4 different sports throughout my high school years and not once did we ever know who was getting tested. this isnt a column for gossip and speculation

          • Thank you, I’m glad there’s a couple of sane people on this wall. This discussion section of this article is not for gossiping or fighting. Everyone who wants to talk [redacted] about the accused or what he or his friends do needs to back off.

          • You are correct he has been an athlete for several years. You are also correct that it should be un-announced and it is. This system is not perfect which is one of the reasons why, along with cost,that at one time Clarke County was one of only a few schools out of the 300+ in the VHSL that was doing it. I’m sure that number has grown, i know Salem City schools started this year. The other important aspect of the testing to keep in mind is the random part. A team with 60 players does not mean 60 tests. The Department of Education has a recent study out on random drug testing that is pretty interesting reading and there is quite a bit of other research out there. Is it effective? Depends on who you talk to. I think most of us would agree the answer is yes if one child is deterred. I am 100% confident that there is no foul play going on with the CCHS athletic drug testing. Is the testing we do adequate? That is for another forum.

            CDN Editor: Are you able to provide a weblink to the DOE test mentioned in your post? If so, those interested in this topic will certainly be interested in the information.

          • http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20104025/pdf/20104025.pdf Here you go. The report is 328 pages but is fairly easy to navigate.

          • The Executive Summary is quite interesting. Especially points 2 and 3.

            2. However, the MRSDT program had no “spillover effects” on the substance use reported by students who were not subject to testing and had no effect on any group of students’ reported intentions to use substances in the future.
            3. Contrary to concerns raised about the possible unintentional negative consequences of random drug testing, the MRSDT program had no effect on the proportion of students
            participating in activities subject to drug testing or on students’ attitudes toward school and perceived consequences of substance use.

            This tells me that kids who aren’t subject to the “random” testing have no plans to stop their behavior, and they don’t worry about the “Perceived consequences” of said behavior.

          • why don’t they drug test the band or other groups or clubs. your making it seem like jocks are the only people who smoke.

          • I believe I said that ALL students who participate in extracurricular activities should be randomly tested. Trust me, I know it’s not just the jocks.

          • RW is right. Everybody at the HS knows when drug tests happen, no matter how vigoursly the administration and coaches deny it. Many of the top athletes, who also happen to be big into drinking and drugs, are very chummy with some of the coaches. Some of these same coaches let the drug testing dates slip to their “buddies”. Most of the coaches know about the bad habits of the top athletes, and do their best to make sure that Clarke County Athletic Teams are full of good players, straightedge or not.

          • That’s not true that everyone knows when they will have a drug test. I was tested with no warning and I know of others that were as well

          • that is far from true, how [redacted] would you know. How did this become about drug testing, you have no idea what your saying.

          • John Lilly says:

            Clarke county high school is one of 4 highschools IN THE STATE that randomly drug tests their athletes. Having been on 3 state championship teams at cchs I can honestly say that I do not remember any occasion when a coach pulled us over and told about any upcoming drug tests. [redacted]

  25. For the one who called [redacted] out at the fair that is just showing how you are loving the attention of trying to be the good person you are causing more drama then needed do you honestly think Aaron would want his best friend to get in more trouble then What he’s already in he has suffered enough by loosing his best friend Yea he does deserve to get charged with the drinking but calling people out will never bring Aaron back he’s happy now and watching over all of us let him rest in peace

    • spectator says:

      Totally agree….the one who called Aaron out, please live your life and stop being so attention craving. I’m sure it’s not fun being you right now, and I do respect you in some ways for doing what you believe in even if it means everybody saying nasty things to you. But you’re doing it the wrong way.

    • Mr Mister says:

      “he’s happy now”? Really? Try he’s dead. Stop putting a happy spin on things. Did he want to die? I think not.

      • Well do you honestly think he’s sad in heaven I really doubt it [redacted]

        • Mr Mister says:

          Do you really believe that given a choice he’d rather be dead, than alive? I think he would like to spend more time on Earth. But someone took that away. That someone may have been a friend. [redacted]

    • thoughtful says:

      Did you think that maybe the person who saw what was going on with him at the fair cared enough for him and Aaron to try to get him help since obviously it had not materialized by that point? I think it was pretty big of that individual to step up and basically say I care about you and obviously you need help and I know this may not seem like what you need but it really is…a wake up call. Aside from what will happen legally he can’t move forward and work through this pain until he accepts it and understands how to forgive himself.

  26. whybcitwasntu says:

    more than half the people on this site have driven drunk you are all hypocrites

    • Concerned says:

      If only half of us have driven drunk, then why are all of us hypocrites??? If Aaron is in heaven, I can assure you that he is not looking down from there happily watching any of his friends driving drunk. Comments like yours make it very obvious why there is a legal drinking age and a legal voting age. A youth’s inability to look out side the box they are in is very evident in your post. The justice system is not about getting revenge on this young man for Aaron’s death, it is about protecting the rest of us from him repeating his actions. There are more people in this world than this young man’s friends and we deserve to be protected from his bad decisions. Were you going to hop in the vehicle with him when he left the fair the other night?

  27. Is anyone else concerned about the way [CDN] linked these two news stories?

    The title of this article is “Manslaughter Charges Filed in Connection to Death of Aaron Shirley.”
    The August 11 update about the intoxicated MINOR at the fair has nothing to do with the manslaughter charges that have been filed.

    We see your bias. Please brush up on your journalism ethics.

    • Jeane Cromer says:

      P, I get where your coming from, but I’m personally appreciative for ANY type of journalism coming from CDN. And it IS free! We don’t have to agree with it. The editors provide an excellent forum for outlet.

      It’s true there is some bias….the CCPS/Robina/Liggins thing has had many updates reported by other media outlets not reported here and I’m sure the CCPS 2010 AYP reporting will be the same. So be it.

      As one sworn Officer of the Commonwealth recently told me” Welcome to Clarke County” (as if the commwealth’s code doesn’t apply here:)

      The best we can do is appreciate and admire CDN, their staff and editor, and be responsible enough to research other sources for an informed opinion.

    • Do you think its a coincidence that he gets charged the day after his drunk incident. I don’t.

  28. I have resisted commenting on this horrible event. My comments now are not specifically on this event, but on the comments being made.

    1) Lets all remember that just because we have the ability to hide behind a computer screen and type anything we wish. We should try to not say things that we wouldn’t say in public.

    2) As to the journalism ethics being questioned……….I don’t know any more about the situation than others, but the Winchester Star didn’t link the two stories…They had both situations in the same article.

    3) I really hope that the person above who said “more than half the people on this site have driven drunk” is wrong. I can’t believe that statistic is accurate.

  29. Just remember that we are young and these people involved are our friends. Most of us have never experienced something like this and it’s scary and heartbreaking. Imagine if something like this happened to you’re friends when you were only 16 or 17. We understand that what he did was wrong. But we don’t want to see him in jail. We already lost one friend…

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Then spread the word that it’s not too late for the rest of you. Learn from this: partying with alcohol and drugs, as minors, is stupid and illegal. It can lead to unforeseen and tragic consequences. I lost 2 friends in high school to drunk driving accidents (self-caused); a third became paralyzed from the waist down and lost a football scholarship to Alabama. It is true that most of you “have never experienced something like this.” All the more reason to listen to those who’ve trod this planet longer than you have.

      Only fools refuse to learn.

    • Concerned says:

      That’s why the Amercan justice system will not put you on the jury, you are biased. Theis young man is your friend and you are loyal to him, as you should be. As you get older you will find that there are ways to support friends without condoning what they do. A real friend will stick through this with him, while trying to positively impact his life. A real friend will communicate with him in the coming years if hecis locked. I truly wonder if any of his peers on this board will being do that several years from now? Accept what your friend did was wrong and there is no excuse for it. However, there are reasons which you should try to understand so you do not lose two more friends.

  30. doesnt anybody see that convicting him wont help any? he needs help, hes obviously a mess.

  31. I have read many of your comments and tried to picture the type of person you are and the type of life style you live. Aaron Shirley was a special young person. He apparently was living his life to the fullest. He wanted to be with his friends the night of the accident, with or without permission from his parents. This had a very negative effect for him and for all the friends who loved him. The Shirley are good people. They have been in the Clarke area for many years. I was young many years ago and loved my teen years and the fun associated with it. Did I always follow my parents rules? No! I made many mistakes for which I had to pay. The young driver is also a special person to his Mother and Father. He loved his best friend. You raise your children the best you know how, and when they go out the door in the evening, you hope they will return to you at the end of that time. We all are given free will by God to make choices and those choices impact what happens to us and our famlies. Both young men made poor judgements and one is now left behind to
    grieve the lost of his friend and also the loss of his freedom. Try not to be so
    judgemental that you can not see good in the young man being held responsible. He needs your encouragement. After all, God created him and God does not make junk.
    When at the end of your life, may you know that your heart was always kind to all mankind.

    Being a parent means always being there for your childern. Have you talked to your young people today? Did you tell them you loved them, that you cared for them and that they are the most important thing in your life? Don’t let anything or anyone come between you and your love for each of your children. Call them now and say “I Love You”. Tomorrow may just be too late.

    • Jeane Cromer says:

      The most beautiful and well said post to date. Thank-you, Older and Wiser.

    • Very well said and I agree completely. May all sides find their peace in this.

    • Mayor Quinsby says:

      Try not to be judgemental?!!!
      My Friend our world is judgemental. Your boss judges what you wear to work, who you hang with, work habits ect. Your school and peers judge your grades, your hair, your clothes. Your coach judges your atheletic ability. Someone needs to judge our foolish ways. OH, that’s right we have a legal system and a constituntional right to free speech. If peer pressure or judgement on this forum curtails 1 teen from following in the footsteps of the driver, mission accomplished.

  32. Spongebob says:

    Now I see why all of the teenagers that are posting on here are trying to push the “Teach the kids to be more responsible when they drink” speech. They do not want anyone to ruin their fun.

    Let me ask you something: how responsible are the underage kids in this series of pictures of many of the local teens drinking that are posted on Facebook :

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=233103&id=705206947#!/album.php?aid=233103&id=705206947

    You kids will never learn. A horrible tragedy happened to one of your peers and you kids are still out drinking and then proudly post the pics on Facebook! When are you going to learn?

    • my 2 cents says:

      This is very bothersome considering one of the youth pictured in these photos was one of the students who was caught drinking on the CCHS DECA trip!

      Where the [redacted] are the parents? How on earth do these parents let these kids have opportunities to go out and drink again? Wake up parents!!! This is disgusting!

      • Spongebob says:

        If you think those are bad 2 cents, here are some more:

        http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5239435&id=730956614#!/album.php?aid=172611&id=730956614&page=6

        What’s really disturbing is that there are parents in this series of pictures who are actually allowing underage kids to drink at their home.

        • spectator says:

          i think it was very unwise of you to bring pictures from facebook onto this column. if we are all anonymous on this page, then why would you post those two albulms cleary naming all the the kids that were drinking? why dont you just tell us who you are then. This is not a gossip column

          • Spongebob says:

            I live in a pineapple under the sea……

            I wasn’t the one to take the pictures of these children. Facebook is an open forum for the world to see and kids are told this day in and day out.

          • spectator says:

            so you feel you can expose indentities of others yet not of yourself, seems like you’re a coward. just another person that is just attention seeking and want to spread gossip.

          • Pictures don’t lie. Sponge didn’t expose idenities of others. They did it themselves. Quit pointing fingers at the wrong people. They posed and posted the pictures on a public page themselves. It not gossip. They were bragging in the pics.

          • I’ll bet the cops are going to love the pictures of the supposed so innocent and wonderful girl lighting a bong for her naked guy friend. Oh Sheriff Roper, check your email!

        • I hope the School Board members are paying attention to this and getting a good look at who’s who and the kids that are still students in these pictures. Remember kids, once it’s on the internet, it’s there FOREVER.

          • looking in on it all says:

            i dont think you realize that the majority of student now are drinking. name someone and i can guarentee that i’ve seen them drink or at least a picture of it.

        • And I noticed one other telling thing about the suspect. He’s making approving comments on those pictures, and these were posted last week!

      • Fly on the qwall says:

        Actually…at least 2 of the girls busted on that DECA trip are in these pics. Shameful.

        • It is shameful that you are assuming that the girls in the picture are drinking alcohol. Please explain how you know that those cups contain an alcoholic beverage.

          • I’m sure the teen who had these pictures on her Facebook took them down considering how incriminating they were. There were over 100 pictures of many local teens drinking at a recent music festival.

          • Mr Mister says:

            Fly said they are in the pictures. Not that they are drinking in the pictures. Pay attention. They were busted on a different trip.

          • Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

            Just so everyone knows that “FLY on the Wall” is not Darren “FLY” Lambert….Just sayin.

          • Duh, you can see the beer cans inside some of the cups.

    • Don’t forget that a lot of these kids in the pictures also received several scholarships that may just be revoked once these get out.

      [redacted]

      • Let this be a lesson to them that there are consequences to their actions. They should not be posting these sort of pictures in a public setting. Do not blame the person who shared the link. Blame the underage children for making poor choices.

        • Just another mom. says:

          A few years ago I brought to the attention of my school board member a young lady who was newly named as “student liaison to the School Board.” This young woman was in fact engaged in underage drinking and posting on facebook, plain as anything with her beer in hand and a big smile for the camera.

          Ms. Student liaison kept her position, all smiles for the camera when the local newspaper ran the story of her involvement in “making CCHS better for students.”

          Given that the school board had the information yet continued to endorse and support this young woman, while looking the other way…was a good enough reason for our family to choose private school and never look back.

          • FYI..a number of those kids in those pictures posted above have attended private school. It doesn’t make a difference in what school your kids go to (private/public).

  33. Lot’s of teenagers drink underage. I did as a teenager but not once did I nor any of my friends get behind a wheel and drive. There is a major difference between underage drinking and driving drunk.

    The driver of this vehicle made a horrible mistaken, one that someone of any age should no was not a wise decision. The fact of the matter is that any of those kids could have been driving and the same thing could have happened. And they would be charged as well. All of those kids made a bad decision that day, but only one of those decisions caused the death of a young man.

    I don’t know the driver, so I am not going to begin to act like I know how he is feeling…I don’t know whether he is remorseful or not. He does deserve to be charged. And being charged and even convicted does not necassarly mean he is going to spend years in prison. He was charged as a juvenille and my understanding of juvenille convictions is that they can’t be locked up for years. The fact that the CA didn’t seek charging him as an adult in my opinion shows that they aren’t trying to lock this kid away for life, but they are going to make him face his actions.

    If a drunk parent drives, wrecks, and kills their child, should they not be held responsible because it was there child? The problem here is the fact that this kid was intoxicated. Anytime you do something illegal (which underage drinking clearly is) and you cause a death, accident or not you have broken the law. If this kid was not intoxicated he most likely wouldn’t be charged with manslaughter. The Commonwealth Attorneys office can’t send the message that as long as your recklessness kills a family or loved one its OK, what kind of message would that be sending?

    I don’t want to see this mans life ruined because of a mistake he made as a young man but at the same time he needs to face his decisions and start making better ones.

    I do have to wonder, where are the drivers parents? They need to step in and stop this man from further wrecking his life. His being drunk at the fair is not going to help his situation.

  34. It is nice to know that driver has alot of support from his friends (I mean that seriously, not sarcastically), but those of you defending him, do you realize you have already convicted him?

    You keep saying he shouldn’t go to jail and that he should go to rehab. He hasn’t been to court yet. Not one post I have seen has said that he is INNOCENT of the charges. Whether you realize it or not, your responses are just showing that you believe him to be guilty and responsible for Aarons death.

    And alot of you are saying he’s isnt a bad person. You don’t have to be a bad person to to make a reckless decision.

    Just because he is being charged doesn’t mean he’s going to be found guilty. And if he is, it doesn’t mean he will get prison time. I know how painful this must be for some of you. You lost Aaron and now you are afraid of losing another friend. I hope you all learn a lesson from this…that a good person can make a horrible mistake. And most of us were raised to know that our actions have consequences. Why should this situation be any different? If Aaron had of been killed by a drunk driver you didn’t know but was a good friend of Aarons, would you still feel the same way? I know teenagers never believe the “it could happen to me”…I know I didn’t. But it happened to Aaron and now it’s happening to [REDACTED]. Let this situation and Aarons death teach you all a lesson. You all say Aaron wouldn’t want this, and he may not. But I don’t think he would want you all to not learn from this horrible tragedy.

    The Commonwealth could have sought to charge him as an adult and they didn’t. That will play in his favor. Keep in mind kids, even if he is found guilty, at the absolute longest he would be incarirated until he was 21. Considering Aaron lost his life, that would be a light sentence.

  35. Naked Truth says:

    I knew the driver ,from a young age, would grow up in the system. He was a bully then and a substance abuser now. The fact that he and his friends are blaming the victim is pathetic. If someone is in, on, or under your vehicle and dies as a result of your reckless actions, then YOU are responsible. Period. Stop pointing to the victim. If he didn’t want Shirley in the back , he could have stopped the truck. Not continue to speed down the road. The fact that he has the stones to show his face at the fair intoxicated is a disgrace. He needs to act like a man and except responsibility. Something his parents never taught him. His parents should remove him from all negative influences. Not allow him to continue to destroy himself. Remember he did it to himself and the Shirley boy. Stop pretending that the community is destroying him. Let his peers determine his fate. Not his so called friends. This is not a popularity contest. I say go after his worthless parents as well. They are obviously doing nothing to help.

    • spectator says:

      clearly you did not know him, so please stop pretending to. He is responsible for crashing the car, but it was aarons choice to get in the bed. The law would rule that he is resonsible, which is a logical conlcusion, but a life sentance is not the way to justice. “His worthless parents”? I think you shouldn’t make such ignorant statements. Do you know them? Do they have enough money to get him help? Are they caring enough to want to help him? Do they just dont care at all? If you can answer all of these questions then i retract what i said, but if not then please watch what you say.

      • Mr Mister says:

        If they are involed in his life , then why did they allow him drunk at the fair? Why do they allow him to drink PERIOD? Why haven’t they done something more constructive? These are questions that I would like to have answered. [redacted]

        • Mr Mister says:

          And I don’t think anyone is calling for a life sentence. But he should do time. God forbid he injures one of my kids.

    • Fellow Mother says:

      It is easy to make hurtful comments such as these under an anonymous name. It is a “disgrace” to know that Clarke County has citizens such as yourself. The comments made here are “worthless”, and do nothing to honor Aaron Shirley’s name or memory. I will pray for you!!! You need it!!!

      • Mr Mister says:

        [redacted] All we want is a safe community. With this kid running around intoxicated and on [redacted] is not making me feel safe.

      • Fellow Mother, what hurtful comments? All that was asked was where were the parents of the accused in all of this and why do they allow him to show up to community events intoxicated? How is that hurtful?

        Do you really think that showing up in public intoxicated is honoring Aaron?

        • Fellow Mother says:

          How about “Naked Truth’s”…..”bully”, “substance abuser”, and “worthless parents”, for starters. And we are talking about an adults comments and a childs bad decision making….it’s apples and oranges, Mom.
          You can’t tell me as a “Mom”, you would not feel hurt if these comments were made about your child or yourself. Can you?
          Unless you’ve found a way to attach yourself to the hip of your teenager, you have no other responsibilities in life, or you just plain keep the kid shackled in their room, I would venture to say that you are like the rest of us who hope and pray when they leave the house to go to the fair or anywhere for that matter, that they are making good choices. Reality is, you can’t watch over them 24-7 like you could when they were babies.

          • Fellow Mother, if that was my child that was accused of causing his best friend’s death, I would make sure that he was held accountable AND would make sure that he gets the mental and substance abuse help that he would need. Being sixteen and having to deal with all of this pressure could definitely make someone want to turn to alcohol and/or drugs to cope with the stress of what they have done. I would of course be hurt by the comments BUT it would be my fault if my child was caught drinking in public after the initial accident because I allowed it to happen by ignoring the drinking in the first accident.

            You do not have to keep your child “shackled” to yourself or to their room as long as you know the who, what, when,where of their lives and are a good role model for them. We have every right as parents to get as involved in our children’s lives as long as they are under age. I’m here to be their parent, not their best friend. Their safety is my responsibility.

  36. Now it appears that we are on a witch hunt. How many of you can honestly say that you knew either one of these students personally. Are we back to the Old West with certain folks appointing themselves as a vigelante group, judge and jury and “hang ’em high”. Were they really interested in the drinking/drug problem before this tragic event. Are they seeking self serving glory? Are the people serving on some of these committies to stop the abuse really that much above the law and have they always been an honest law abiding citizen?? Let the Law enfocement do their job as they are capable of doing. You elected them, you surely must have trust and faith in them. Am I right?
    I’m all for the idea of helping with the drinking/drug problem. I watched with heartache the night of Aarons visitation and funeral. I would hope that no other family would have to experience such grief. You just can’t threaten young people into submission. It only makes them more determined to do what they have always done. Treat this with kindness, but firmness. Be positive, not negative. Help them to understand how to make wise decisions.
    Stop alluding to the bad parent/bad seed with regard to the driver. I personally know that his Mother is a fine loving person who says not a single negative thing about anyone. I would hope that all of you have been loving parents who disciplined with love and set good examples for your children. One thing I was taught in life was, You can tell how good a person is and will treat others is by the way they treat their parents. Unfortunately, some parents are known to be verbally and at times physically abusive to their children to the point that their memories of this parent was anything but pleasant. I would hope you do not fit in this catagory and if you do, make ammends now. I have seen a lot of lives ruined because of negative parenting. Don’t be among this group. Love and prayer will win through everytime.

    • Travis Goodwin says:

      Kinda like the Salem Witch Trials of old…all of a sudden, a drunk teen is seen everywhere.

  37. OutoftheCCloop says:

    Okay- I know none of these people, so I am looking at this from an unbiased point of view. First off, the law is the law. If someone were texting and driving and killed my child, I would expect full punishment by the law. It is what it is. You must take responsiblility for your actions. SEcondly, I cannot access the Facebook link but it is so bothersome that I can see the profile picture and the girls who are drinking since they are underage. Obviously these pictures contained others which are also convicting. Parents need to be more proactive in understanding this type of behavior is absolutely NOT acceptable. Teachers, too, need to be aware. The police should find these kids and reprimand them or at least scare the crap out of them.

  38. Darren "Fly" Lambert says:

    I can’t believe that so many people can sit up and voice an opinion behind your keyboards. Your comments would have much greater validation with a name behind it. I think all of this should be erased and taken off this forum. It has no meaning! Just my opinion.

    Signed with a Name!

  39. BTW boys and girls, another life lesson here. I know it’s all the rage to put all your pictures on facebook and such, but there’s such a thing as too much infomation, especially in this day and age. I followed one of the facebook links that was provided here, and even though the young lady took all the content off the page, I just want her and others to know that there is such a thing as a “cache”. On this cache there was this comment from just yesterday from one of her friends that I won’t name

    “since its pouring down rain, you know what that means. bonfire partay!”

    Ahh, thought that was gone did you?

    BTW, I think it’s safe to say the lesson hasn’t been learned

    Now, I had friends that did computer security in the military. And this is where I want you kids to pay attention. Just by taking this young lady’s name and starting in Google, I was able to find a good bit of info on her. There’s also these things called IP addresses as well. Amazing what info they fess up. And I’m not even gonna mention Facebooks security issues

    And no, I’m not some perv. I’m just throwing this out there so that you kids will think just a little bit about what you put out into cyberspace

    It’s bad enough you all were stupid enough to put up pics of you doing the underage drinking thing, but as I said in another post, the world is a mean and ugly place, and there are vile people out there that can find you as easily as I did.

    Something else to think about, besides the death of a classmate and whether of not to go to a bonfire party.

  40. In response to what “looking in on it all” said about how pretty much all teenagers drink.
    Yeah, hi… I’m a teenager and I have NEVER once had a drink. None of my friend’s have either. I don’t surround myself with people like. And everyone says that they just want to have “fun” or it helps them deal with problems. Well. No. My friends and I have plenty of fun without going around drunk acting like fools.
    I applaud the fact that those pictures from Facebook were posted on here. The fact that many of these people on here are fine with underage drinking is a problem. Last time I checked, underage drinking was against the law. No one should be okay with this.
    And, when these kids put these pictures out in a public place, thats when trouble starts. When these kids apply to college, colleges look at their Facebook pictures. It’s true. Do you really think colleges want kids like those?
    Just saying.

    • Lynette Carlisle says:

      Snookie, well, you keep “just sayin” because you are absolutely correct. Also, I admire your choice of life style. Keep up the great work.

  41. Left Winger says:

    Here is an aricle of someone who could have gotten off of his charges but didn’t

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=lc-stallworthsecondchance081210

    If anything…instead of defending actions admit guilt and use your past as an example to help prevent others from following in your path.

  42. Class of 10 says:

    Those facebook pictures are uncalled for and has absolutely nothing to do with anything on this topic of Aaron Shirley’s death. They showed the names of individuals on the internet without any clarification at all. I’m pretty sure that it might be invading privacy. And yes facebook is private unless you friend the person. Im pretty sure everyone on here isnt friends with the individual? How come all of you parents have done anything before this incident to prevent a youth from dying? Why does it have to come to a youth dying for your voices to be heard? Oh thats because you dont pay attention to what your kids are doing. Im out

    • You are incorrect. The thing about Facebook is that as soon as one of the “friends” you have shares the images in you’re galleries, it cracks them all open to public view. Privacy online is an illusion and you as well as many of your young friends have fallen victim to the realities of Facebook. You want real privacy? Don’t post images online that you wouldn’t want to share with the world. Looks like the individual inquestion wise up and took the images down.

      Wisdom begins…

    • Just don’t go to the bonfire party. There. If your parents didn’t tell you, I did. Go cow tipping or something

      And no son, facebook isn’t private. The internet isn’t private. That’s what I was trying to convey in my last post. ANYTHING you throw on the internet CAN BE RETRIEVED if someone wants to try hard enough. If I were to access this site, I could trace your IP address as well and see where you’re typing from, even if it’s a mobile device.

      Just for laughs I looked up the page one more time, and then I’ll stop because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a stalker or something. The page in question has been altered in just the last few hours. She is removing links to incriminating pics and trying to cover her and her friends tracks. But it’s too late. Any law enforcement agency can retrieve the old info and pics. And so can scumbags.

      Like I said,

      LEARN

      FROM

      THIS

      Think about what you and your friends put out there for the world to see. There are people that would use that info in very nefarious ways.

      As for parents speaking up, what can I say? Believe it or not, we’re human too. As a former teenager and now the father of a teenager, I have a perspective on the world that you and your mates don’t have as of yet. It’s a very fine line as a parent when you let your kids go out the door. You want them to grow and to be able to go out and about. Do things. See things. Have a good time. But in the back of my mind, I know my son (who is your age) is, in a lot of respects, still just a kid. I know you all don’t think of yourselves as that, we didn’t either at 17, but you are. And kids, for whatever reason, do boneheaded stuff sometimes. We as parents can pass on our experiences and give you advice, and hope that if you make a mistake it’s not too big of one. We hope that you learn and don’t repeat the mistake. And we certainly hope no one has to die in order to make a point. But that’s the way life is sometimes.

      Unfortunately, the only way you will see and understand this point of view is to get there yourself.

      I hope you and your friends make it. Your chances are improved by having your live friend off the road

      • Could this be the same “sarge” that I read comments from on the Star page?

        So very well said. Wow.

        • Never heard of him;)

          • good answer 😉

          • thats a very cute winky face Sarge. What are you 15 again. Stop scaring the kids and acting like you know everything and start teaching them in a respectable way. Right now you are acting like a very very very mean rude adult. No one likes to listen to those type of people they just ignore know it alls. Instead be a loving person and teach them these lessons in a nice way.

          • It’s called tough love “cute”. Sarge has great advice.

          • If I really wanted to scare the kids, I would have posted what I found online following that young lady’s facebook site.

            Wanna know some of what I found with very little effort?

            I found a hobby she likes across the mountain

            I found her parents names

            Scarier still, I found out where she lives

            All that in about 10 minutes and without much effort

            Think about that for a few minutes. Had I been some perv, I could have taken her picture from facebook and probably found her at the fair Tuesday nite, since she said she was going to be there.

            Thus endeth the lesson Cute. Sorry it’s a rough one, but that’s the way the world is sometimes. Some things are better taught in a frank manner than with all this “Touchy Feely Be My Kids Best Buddy” crap.

  43. I am a adult in clarke county, and i do not understand this pathetic fascination with the youths drinking, we all did it back then too, and it was more dangerous back then. as long as the parents know what their children are doing their kids should be find. Aaron shirley’s parents didn’t know he was even out of the house. It is their problem, lets not let the rest of the teens who’s parents are well aware of their whereabouts suffer.

    • Then you, my friend, are part of the problem. Yes, we did it back then too. And yes, we had old, fixed up 60’s muscle cars that compounded the problem with speed.

      But it was stupid then, and it’s stupid now.

      Yes, it’s a boring county for kids. But if you’re cool with and condone under age kids drinking, then I submit that while you may be an adult chronologically, you’re also a lawbreaker, just like those kids.

    • The Mad Hatter says:

      You have GOT to be kidding me! It’s Aaron’s parents problem?!?!?! I have been reading all of the posts and when I saw this one, it made me furious!

      The “pathetic fascination” with kids drinking is that it is AGAINST THE LAW! It is not any more less dangerous now as it was back then. I think we can see what too much drinking can do to your common sense…..this post above just proves that! Stop spinning the facts and stop trying to blame the victim and his family. So disrespectful.

      • excuse me that came off wrong. it wasn’t their fault, it’s their issue that they are haunted to deal with. i feel like everyone else mainly the vicious adults toward the driver make the situation worse for both families. please stop the pain for the families and the children because you are saying hurtful things and don’t think of the affect because frankly it doesn’t affect you.

    • Lynette Carlisle says:

      Travis, let me tell you, it is taking everything in me, not to respond to your pathetic post. My step daughter was in that vehicle, and if this case wasn’t still under strict investigation, I would certainly give you a piece of my mind. YOU ARE IGNORANT!!

  44. questioning parent says:

    It infuriates me how all of you adults are chatting on this forum like you are 12 years old again. Parents shouldn’t be arguing with teens other than their own, they have their own mindset that I don’t think will be changing. If you would like to gossip, then go discuss you’re teens’ habits with your friends and not anonymous people for the world to see on the internet. I thought this was about an accident related to DRINKING AND DRIVING, not underage drinking. This is a whole different subject matter. I am in no way siding with the local “partiers” but I do know that there are many out there that take it wisely and would NEVER step into a vehicle with someone who is under the influence of any substance. Yes, underage drinking does sometimes, sadly, lead to drinking and driving (in this case) but in other cases it does not. Therefore, I think that these fellow “concerned” parents need to stop taking such a concern in other teens. The Clarke Daily News needs to delete this forum of comments. I think that there are many unneeded discussions of gossip here.

    • Parents shouldn’t be arguing with teens other than their own,

      Apparently, there are a few teens on here that need some parenting

      I thought this was about an accident related to DRINKING AND DRIVING, not underage drinking.

      Therefore, I think that these fellow “concerned” parents need to stop taking such a concern in other teens

      Will you feel the same if one of these kids gets drunk, drives, and plows into you or someone you love?

      I would venture to say “Not”
      Was this not a case of under-aged drinknig and driving?

  45. another mom says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the parents for “letting” their kid be drunk at the fair – kids do stupid things, including sneaking out, just like Aaron did the night of the accident. Have your kids never done anything that you weren’t aware of?

    It’s enough that the teeagers of this community had to start their summer at a funeral for their friend. They think they are invincible, they had no idea how to deal with the death of a peer and that was painfully obvious from the looks on their faces.

    The driver is another peer, one who made a really stupid mistake. I can imagine nothing worse than losing a child. Nor can I imagine what it feels like to be responsible for my friend dying; I don’t know how I would handle that as an adult and I have a lot more coping skills than a 16-year-old. And yes, it sickens me that he was drinking at the fair, but again, I don’t know how I would cope.

    I am disgusted by the lack of compassion. Of course the driver needs to be punished, but condemned for life? Do you think the teenagers are going to learn anything from this with attitudes like that? Have you considered that maybe being young, and being called a murderer and worse, he was living up to that? or that he was crying for help to stop himself by being drunk in public?

    Please just stop this – these kids are confused enough with how to deal with all this as it is. They most certainly need to learn a lesson from this, and seeing their friend suffer the consequences of his actions hopefully will help and hopefully also a lesson will be learned by the parents who know their kids are drinking. But this bitter, angry, holier-than-thou nonsense is not helping anything. It only confirms to them that the adults aren’t worth listening to.

  46. Naked Truth says:

    Kudos to the Sheriff’s department. But reality is he won’t be convicted of drunk driving with a BAC of .07 since he is close to the age of 18. Even if he is convicted of anything our local [redacted] judge will suspend all but six months anyway.
    I can’t believe some of you are pointing the finger at Aaron for sneaking out of the house. He did not deserve to die from his “friend”. Aaron is the true victim. The driver should not be your hero. He has a problem. His parents should be aware of this. But either they are not or they turn a blind eye. The parents have no control of this kid, It is obvious if he is showing up intoxicated. What positive thing has he done since the accident? Maybe he is spending to much time partying, oh I mean coping.

    • When someone over 21 is charged with DUI the automatic limit is .08 and above…but they can be found guilty of a DUI under .08. Anyone under 21 can be guilty of a DUI at .02 and up, so I’m not sure why you feel he won’t be found guilty at .07 because he’s almost 18 when an adult can be found guilty at .07.

  47. It really doesnt matter who this is says:

    I agree with questioning parent on all of that. But really EVERYONE needs to stop the bashing. It really isn’t helping much of anything. All it is doing is making people more angry and wanting to fight more or rebel. Also if you are not a close friend of the people’s facebook your stalking, obviously you have no life. I mean really, this just shows that in your spare time you just get on facebook for hours upon hours. Maybe this is why you have no idea what is going on with your children’s lives.

    Also alot of you have no idea what really happened in that car crash. [redacted]

    [redacted]

    I don’t disagree with the whole Teen Awareness and SADD programs, BUT i do believe that you aren’t helping anything or anyone. You are just causing drama and splitting up the county. Instead you should be bashing people and starting unnecessary drama. I agree with “Older and Wiser”, you should be teaching not only the younger people in the county but older people in the county about drinking, but in a KIND way. Also i know of many people that go to parties that there is drinking and decide not to drink. I know of people that go to parties with their friends/bf/gf and go to be the DD and also socialize. Its the person’s decision to drink no one is pushing it on them or opening their mouth and pouring alcohol down their throats. Parties consist of different people, but now because of all of this people have to choose a side. This is separating the county having to pick and choose their friends and turn on ones that were your friends that sometimes drank but now you can’t talk to anyone who has had one sip or anyone who doesn’t drink. Thats what makes the world beautiful is that people except people as who they are and everyone no matter what their issue is can get along. Thats like making all the religions not talk to each other because they have different views on things. Drinking doesn’t make you who you are. You can like to drink sometimes and also like cheerleading or not like drinking at all and be on the same team and friends with that person.

    Also the whole reason the Teen Awareness and SADD became what it is today is because of DRINKING and DRIVING like “questioning parent” said. Why is it turning into what every little bad thing kids do. Also this should not only be targeted to teens, it should involve adults too. I know many adults that have gotten more then one DUI and choose not to change their ways but their are some that do decide to change their ways. And teens aren’t the only people who can kill a person drinking while driving.

    • Amanda Lambert says:

      I am sorry if you think that SADD was developed to “split the county” sadly you have been misinformed. Have you seen this group out? I have, they kindly make their presence known, make a nice speech, offer awareness items and that’s it. They are creating awareness for our youth to stop and think before jumping in that vehicle with a friend who has been drinking. They are not making people choose sides. People who are being offended and having to choose sides are the ones taking part in illegal activities and are feeling alienated and under the spotlight.

      I guess when you have a loved one die from drinking and driving- maybe then you will look into a positive outlet to help others. And when you find that positive outlet and people begin threatening you and rising up against what was supposed to be a positive cause, then maybe you can have such a judgemental opinion..Until then maybe you should think twice about making comments you are ashamed of (obviously ashamed because “it really doesn’t matter who this” right?) to yourself. I guarantee you would hold a different position if this were your child killed. I pray you never have to go through this, so does the people who developed SADD and Teen Awareness. They don’t want others to go through this…that’s the purpose. I hope you are clear now.

      • it really doesnt matter who this is says:

        [redacted] Also another thing, i am for the Teen Awareness and SADD but on their page they are just defending themselves and instead need to start teaching the kids. Half the time they are talking about themselves. Like “stop the threats” or “i been told my a CCHS student that i need to learn my place”. Yeah, just talking about themselves here. If they really feel strongly about the program they need to forget what the people are saying and focus on the big picture which is teen drinking and AARON!

        • From the cheap seats says:

          That’s what they ARE doing. First, they gotta cut through the static from folks calling them “nark” and threatening them and such. Their table @ the fair was a good step; getting the SADD chapter going, and the new CCCC group going, are good steps. Highlighting some recent statistics, which they’ve also done, is a good step.

          They’re doin more than just defending themselves, bit there’ve been a lot of hurtful words slung at them. There’s a problem in letting folks know some of the hate that’s been aimed at them? Likewise this forum – a lot of vitriol has mixed in with a few sound nuggets. The time for slinging mud (or posting links to pics, which – despite being online – were a part of soemone’s private album) has really past. The charges brought against the driver are but one part of this larger puzzle; other parts come when his classmates and others (including the adults in our community who provide alcohol or enable parties to go on) realize that such things are stupid.

          Just because “others do it” or “teens will drink, no matter what” or whatever – it’s still a bad idea. Teens need to listen to advice from those who’ve been down that road before. Parents and other adults on here need to remember that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Just because you can type something on here doesn’t always mean that you ought to type it.

  48. Amanda Lambert says:

    Life is about choices. These choices have consequences, some good, some bad. When you choose to partake in adult activities (that have legal age limits) like drinking, then you choose to have consequences that go along with these actions that are for adults as well. There are a lot of opinions on here, it’s easy to rant and argue on a message board. The fact of the matter is these children made a choice, and now consequences are being reaped from that choice. Unfortunately one of those children lost his life- he won’t have the chance to learn from his mistake. It seems that some children in this area need more than just a wreck to learn from their mistakes (as seen from the repeated drinking and drug use of underage children in this area after this tragic accident).

    Yes we have law enforcement, yes they will do their job, and yes the justice system will also do it’s job. However, your naive, young and arguementative opinions won’t change the consequences, but you can change your own actions and attitude. Why focus on things you can’t change? Focus on yourself, change your ways, make better choices to ensure better consequences for your own future! I think that is all the Shirley family hope for, better choices and better outcomes for the youth of our future. How can anybody argue or be mad about that?

  49. EVERYONE needs to stop the gossip. Teen awareness needs to do their right job which is to prevent kids from drinking. Not bashing and singling out kids. This is only going to make them more angry and start even more controversy. You aren’t doing the right thing by talking all this smack and turning kids in. Your just ruining their lives even more. Instead talk to them in a respectable manner about underage drinking and the downfalls it creates. DO NOT push people away. This is the time to get close to them and make them understand what can happened. But in a KIND way.

  50. 540 parent says:

    I know that the underage drinking is bad, but most of those kids have very big hearts and are very kind. It’s not nice of the parents and adults to judge them because of what they do. You are old enough to know the saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Your gonna hurt the teens even more by nothing they did. That young lady with the album does have pictures of underage drinking but come on its music festival and she was just having fun. She isn’t drinking and having a gun in her hand or anything. Why are you frowning upon a young lady who is doing the same thing that you adults did when you were older. Thats not nice to her to get her in trouble like that. She didn’t mean anything by that album, she just put some fun pictures up of her friends. What did these kids ever do to you that you have to get them in trouble for having fun. Plus you don’t even know if they were drinking. Can you read the cans or bottles? And can you see whats in the red cups. Just stop being mean to young innocent kids. I mean sure they might not be the perfect angel. But what have they done to you?

    • Just another mom. says:

      A few years ago, the Class of [redacted] to be exact, [redacted]

      Oh, the pictures are still there. Along with one of her sitting at a school board meeting…all in the same album. And there are plenty of past and current CCHS students (many athletes too) enjoying a summer evening of libations.

      OH and look, [redacted] must be Ms. Liaison’s best friend! and drinking too! So Classy!

      • 540 parent says:

        again, why does drinking make them terrible? Adults do it too. I guess that makes them “so classy” too. Let me ask you, do you drink “just another mom?” Just asking, good job if you don’t. But really what is the first thing people buy to celebrate something, champagne. I’m not saying drinking is good but it happens everywhere! i do agree that there is a problem when they go overboard. But drinking doesn’t make a person bad. I know alot of people with drinking problem but they are very caring people and wouldn’t hurt a fly but instead of yelling at them help them out.

        • just another mom says:

          drinking is self medication…blah blah blah. of course i imbibe.

          the point for me is…. the school board knew that who they chose to represent the school system had these pics of underage drinking.

          swept it under the rug? i think so.

        • Spongebob says:

          Ok 540 parent…..UNDERAGE DRINKING IS ILLEGAL! PERIOD! I really don’t care if it happens everywhere. It is illegal if you are under 21! I really cannot believe the comments on here.

          With that being said, here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure of our wonderful community children engaging in some “harmless” fun:

          [Facebook reports that this content is currently unavailable]

          Many of the girls in these photos are on the CCHS soccer team and some are cheerleaders. What is the school’s policy when their students and athletes are caught in illegal drinking and there are photos to prove it? Do they turn a blind eye? Apparently so. Ah the wonders of our school system! This makes me feel that more confident sending my kids!

          If that was one of my kids in these photos, I would be embarrassed that my children were posting pictures of their illegal activity. I guess with parents having the same sort of attitude as yours, the kids get more and more comfortable to do this and much more.

          So the reality is, the parents should really be the one to blame for their children’s actions, don’t you think?

          Sarge is right about how easy it is to pull up info on anyone on Facebook especially if their profile is wide open for the world to see. Just put a name in the search engine, click on photos and viola! I know these pictures will be taken down before the day is over but just like Sarge said previously, once it’s on the internet, it is never gone forever.

          Parents need to wise up and teach their children that their actions could affect them forever!!!!

          • Anna Murray says:

            Come on, Spongebob, pony up!! Who are you besides some weird lurker on facebook who is obsessed with checking out every teenaged girl in the County and bringing all of them AND THEIR PARENTS down for failing to live up to your ideals??

          • Naked Truth says:

            [redacted] are part of the problem. I do not agree with whisle blowing. But it is not theirs, mine or your “ideas”, It’s the law for underage drinking. [redacted]

          • If the activity is illegal, bring them all down! Especially the parents, because allowing the illegal activity to occur negatively affects everyone else. I hope a huge hammer comes down this year on all the clubs/sports teams/etc. and they make examples out of the students who are exhibiting illegal activities. I’d love to see DECA not go to ANY competitions this year and those kids who are still at the HS not be allowed to be in DECA this year. Blame it on the behavior of the bad apples. I’ve seen class trips canceled for the same type of reasons, for several years running in fact, for prior behaviors. Reinstate them when you think you have a group of kids who can behave as ambassadors for the school, instead of juvenile delinquents.

    • Clarke Eagle says:

      Wow.

      I hope 540 Parent is not typical of parents in Clarke county. “That young lady with the album does have pictures of underage drinking but come on its music festival and she was just having fun.”

      “That’s not nice to her to get her in trouble like that” she did it to herself by posting those pictures. It is just juvenile boasting. Get it?

      Well the young man that killed Aaron was just having a little fun at one of the music festival parties and now someone is dead. But hey lets just have fun with some underage drinking parties.

      Instead of groups geared towards the high school students it sounds like some parents in Clarke need an education on the dangers and illegality of underage drinking.

  51. Here's one for all you Parents out there....... says:

    STOP TRYING TO BE YOUR CHILDS BEST FRIEND, AND DO YOUR JOB… BE A PARENT FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thats the whole problem these days… The parents are too worried about what their kids will think of them if they say NO to something…. You parents are horrible for defending these kids the way you are….

    Teen Awareness, you keep doing what your doing, I feel its great and if those chummy parents and kids feel so divided, get the heck outta Berryville/Clarke, we don’t need you here anyway.

  52. People act like they have never drinking underage and now that they have kids they want to stop it. Well for all you parents who are taking this to the next level need to stop. Taking links from peoples facebook and putting them on here? Really…thats not going to get them in trouble. This teen awarness was once a good thing now it looks like its becoming more of a revenge factor. [redacted] No one is a horrible parent, some have different way of teaching their children, stop the attacks.

  53. well since this article has to do with Aaron. i think ill just say i miss you i know you wouldn’t want this. these people are trying to be heroes. is this even about Aaron anymore? pointing fingers at everyone wont solve a thing. think if your child was the one driving i doubt half of you would be saying all these hurtful and mean things. shouldnt we be coming together as being a small town instead of bringing everyone down? “get the heck out of berryville/clarke”. just stop. as being a teenager reading all these hurtful things you ‘wonderful’ adults are saying is really upsetting. im good friends with both driver and aaron. i believe he needs help, rehab maybe? dont try ruining another teens life instead try helping him become into a good young man/adult. rest easy my man.

    • Anna Murray says:

      Hi Clown: Hard to believe that such wise words came from a kid, but I’m proud to know that you are out there at Clarke County High School. As a mother to a high school student, I can only imagine the pain that both sets of parents, friends, family, must be feeling right now. I agree with you, let’s come together as a compassionate community to get through this. Let’s not ruin another young person’s life. He already has to live with the guilt and the consequences of his actions. I sincerely hope that we, the adults in this community, can come together without pointing fingers, to help you, our children, grow to be wise, compassionate, and responsible adults.

  54. i agree with clown, why did take a death for parents to step in? before aaron died nobody cared. If they cared you would have said this way before and tried to stop it. pointing the fingers doesnt do anything,[redacted]

    • From the cheap seats says:

      Hmmm…there have been other deaths. 7 years ago, a recent CCHS graduate fell off Raven Rocks [redacted]. He was up there partying with his passle of friends (now all mid-20-somethings), and had used a fake ID to buy alcohol at the [redacted] ([redacted] the clerk @ the register, and let him slide). If this site had existed back then, it probably would have lit up just the same.

      The fact that so many adults and teens have lit this board up tells me that this issue hit a nerve. With this issue out in the open, perhaps now it can be addressed before someone else wrecks a car or falls off the AT or whatever. So much is kept “hush hush” in this county, or has a blind eye turned towards it, or excused as “teens being teens,” or openly sanctioned by adults/parents that – sadly – this is what it took to shine a bright light on an issue nobody wants to talk about.

  55. Everyone on this site would benefit from listening to the song by Glenn Campbell called “Try A Little Kindness”. It might be a country tune, but it fits this situation very aptly. You all have access to the computer, so no excuses folks. May you have a pleasant day tomorrow and please, say a prayer for the Shirley family and for the driver’s family also. “Judge Not Lest You Be Judged”.

  56. Dawn Sumption says:

    As a former CCHS student, many years ago, I am a firm believer that there is conquences for your actions. Sometimes when I was at CCHS, I did things without thinking and later on I was like, Why did I do that?

    This student that was caught again at the fair for drinking should be punished for drinking and driving because it seems that he did not learn his lesson or maybe he thinks that drinking is the only way to cover the pain, but I do not believe that he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. We all as teenagers did things that are not acceptable, but to put this boy in prison for the rest of his life is not the punishment for him. He needs help. He needs counseling. He needs rehab.

    I know there are things I wish I could go back and change about my times at CCHS. I know that this will be one thing that he will wish too.

    To to Shirley Family, Im deeply sorry for your loss and you are in my continued prayers.

    I applaud the sherriffs office and the CA office for taking the time to investigate this case. I am sorry for the loss of Aaron. I did not know him personally but I did go to school with some of the Shirleys.

  57. the Situation. says:

    [redacted] It sickens me that members of this community spend their time searching for ways to get teenagers in trouble. This is not the first time someone has died at Clarke County High School, and its not going to be the last. Dispite your efforts, death is a natural part of the world we live in and when its your time to go, its your time to go. No one know why God chose Aaron to die on that night, in that way, but it happened. No amount of arguing, blaming others, or calling out teenagers is going to change that. I know some of you out there are in pain and confused about how to deal with this situation, but trying to ruin other lives is not going to solve anything. So instead of posting facebook pictures of teens, try posting links to where teens can learn about the dangers of drinking and driving. Instead of talking about how holy you were in high school by not drinking, remember that you still made other mistakes. And instead of making Aarons legacy be one that distroys this county, make it one that brings us together dispite this tragic loss.

    • Wow! These idiot parents are killing me..... says:

      To the Situation…..

      If that was your son or daughter that passed, how would you feel if someone said, it was just his time to go? You are heartless. You are probably one of the parents that are trying to be a BUDDY, to your child, rather than teach them right from wrong…. It sickens me to the core that there are people out the condoning underage drinking….Grow up and be a PARENT! Take responsibility…. I sincerly hope that the Town of Berryville and the County of Clarke continue to zero in on these parties and go after the parents as well! Just take a minute and think before you type the hurtful things that you do… Remember, it could be you in that position one day, and Im sure you wouldnt like to be on that side…..

      I hope people can use some judgement!

    • Reality Check says:

      Situation:

      WOW- Such hurtful comments- Obviously from a person who has never had to bury their own child. Yes, God knows our time and place, however bad things happen to good people because of sin in this world and making bad choices. How can you point the finger at who is posting the pictures, it could be other teenagers in this county who are choosing to make good choices. Are you saying that “calling teenagers out” is a bad thing? Since you seem to quote our all-knowing God, don’t you know that the Bible teaches you to raise your child in the ways of Him. If you think “calling teenagers out”, teaching life lessons, and guiding them to make good choices won’t “solve anything” then you don’t know the God I do. I would love to invite you to read your Bible and attend a good Bible teaching church..get to know what God really wants from these teenagers and their choices in life. Nobody is ruining anybody’s life. People make choices on their own, if it is illegal and they get caught..then they deal with the consequences, sorry if you think it won’t “solve anything” maybe it will MAKE these teenagers choose a better path for their own life. If it were my kid..I would be stepping up and “calling out” as much as possible..I would NEVER want to bury my own child. Sounds like “Aaron’s legacy” and this “tragic loss” as you say has not made any impact on you. Sad 🙁

      • the Situation. says:

        My comment was not ment to be hurtful. It was ment to be truthful. All I ask for is that this bickering ends. I am entitled to my opinions on this situation, and you all are too. Thats the great thing about life. We can agree to disagree. But by personally attacking my religion, my faith in God, or my parenting skills…you are solving nothing. And I do not know what its like to lose a child, and i hope i never find that out. Nevertheless, if that event were to occur i would hope that people would not use the situation to point fingers at everthing that goes wrong in the county. And i ment what i said about it being “his time to go”. He is greatly missed, but youve gotta remember that hes in a much better place and that hopefully we all get to see him again one day. And ive gotta say that i believe my God would agree with that.

    • From the cheap seats says:

      God didn’t “choose” for Aaron to die that night. A string of poor choices, and a severe violation of the laws of physics, resulted in a tragic accident that took his life. All humans have free will, endowed in them by God. Their choices led them to that point – traveling too fast on a narrow, twisting road with a drunk driver at the wheel.

      As for the postings, if teens and adults wake up and realize that underage drinking can lead to poor choices (like drunk driving), then maybe they’ll choose differently. Again, it comes back to choices that we humans make.

  58. Jeff Rosenberry says:

    First off to CDN.I really enjoy reading the website to catch up with all the daily news in and around Clarke Co. Seems that the day the Clarke Courier died local news around Clarke County was hard to come by except the traditional gossip sites.So after reading these comments of this terrible tradegy I think the one thing should be changed is before anyone can post “any” comment or opinion they should have to include their REAL name or ISP number from their computer.I believe alot of these unwanted and uncalled for posts would have never been seen or heard.Of the over 200 posts only five(maybe less) have included real names.It’s such a shame that after everything that’s happened that their’s still alot of teen drinking and drug use going on in good ole CC.Posting links about the effects of drinking and doing drugs will effect kids will only be as effective as each person wants it to be.Alot of teens nows days seem to think they are invinsible,and yes I may have thought the same thing thirty years ago,but after suffering a heart attack last year,at 47 years of age you realize nobody is immune to anything.I just think people need to make wiser decisions so future tradgedies is our quaint little county don’t happen anymore.

  59. Darrell Lloyd says:

    One thing I am certain of as I have grown older and wiser….”let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. We should all be mindful of that moving forward as a community.

  60. A "young" adult says:

    To spongebob you arrogant self righteous “whomever” you are,
    You posting this link of “troubled” teenagers drinking, is TOTALLY immature of you, these pictures are posted on the social networking site for the friends of the page holder to enjoy not for you to exploit in order to further prove your point.

    Furthermore have a little compassion for what this young man is going through he lost his best friend and has to live with that burden for the rest of his life. Why don’t you put yourself in his shoes and try to imagine the ridicule he has to endure on a daily basis. While you get to sit behind your computer screen and preach to kids that you don’t know and about kids you don’t know. Grow up spongebob. Kids and ADULTS make mistakes that we need to analyze and live with. Mistakes make humanity grow. Let these kids live their life.

    THANKS SO MUCH!

    • Maybe he would endure less ridicule if his actions after the fact made it appear that he was remorseful.

      Now I’m not saying he’s not having a difficult time, but showing up drunk at a county fair makes it hard for me to feel compassion for him. Doesn’t for one second make me feel that he has learned any lessons.

      Had he checked himself in to some kind of rehab shortly after the fact or stopped drinking and partying, I would feel different. I hope this young man can get past this horrible event but until he makes better choices, it’s going to be hard for anyone to feel compassion for him.

      • I was speaking with someone with “skin in the game” so to speak at the fair last week. We both agreed that if we were in Mr Bank’s shoes, we would have been Mr Good Citizen, waxing the cops cars and helping little old ladies across the street, so that when it came time to go before the judge he might actually feel somewhat bad about throwing us in jail.

        Obviously, that didn’t happen here

  61. just curious says:

    I personally did not know Aaron or the driver so I am coming at this just by reading some of the posts. It seems to me that some are thinking that the driver is being made an example of; that these charges are too harsh. But this is not the first time something like this has happened and unfortunatley it wont be the last. Other individuals have been charged after they had been drinking had an accident and someone in the vehicle they were driving was killed. So what makes this different?? Are we saying that if you drink and kill someone in your vehicle that you should not be charged just because you knew the victim and that is punishment enough?? Because I think that it would be just as bad (mentally) to kill someone in another car as well…a persons life is a persons life whether or not you knew them.

    Now I don’t believe that this individual should get a life sentence and I dont believe he will. But what I do hope is that he gets the help that he needs while he is serving whatever punishment the courts give him. Sorry if this upsets anyone but I am just saying my opinion.

  62. Open Your Mind Not Your Mouth says:

    I have just used the last hour of my day to read all of the comments and I think that many people have forgotten what this is all about. I sit here thinking about my friend Aaron and I know he wouldn’t have wanted this all to be occuring after the incident. A terrible thing like this should have brought our community together but instead it is tearing it apart because of radically minded people that are getting further and further away from this serious issue. We sit here typing, hidden behind our fake internet personas just attacking each other and the reason i use a fake name is because i am scared; scared to let people know who i really am because again, our community is not supporting each other, we instead point fingers at each other thinking each one of us is so perfect or that our opinion on this issue is the only answer. Of course I have my own opinions on this issue but in the long run, my opinion doesn’t matter and honestly, neither does yours. Now if I say I am a teen or a parent, does the value of my opinion now change? NO. But i will go ahead and tell you that i am at teen just for craps and giggles. I don’t even recognize Clarke County anymore, all of this arguing back and forth is getting out of control and most of you know it. The law is the law and we need to let them do their jobs and not take it upon ourselves to decide on what the punishment or sentence should be. We are fighting with each other and forgetting the real reason we should be communicating with each other. I do not know exactly what Aaron would want but i know he wouldn’t mind a little less fighting and a little more learning and bonding. Stop this bickering and go out and do something worth while like maybe actually talking to teens about drinking and drugs rather than get more in trouble or just take a stroll and think about the ways Aaron has touched your life. Pray for the Shirley family. I am leaving for football practice now and i still feel my buddy Aaron right there next to me when I am on that rocky, beat up practice field. But I am tired of this fighting and I will stick to not arguing and strictly remembering ABS. This football season is for you bud.

    • The issue is so hot button right now because there are 2 schools of thought that are diametrically opposed to each other. 1) Kids will be kids, and this sort of thing has always gone on. 2) Underage drinking is illegal, taking drugs is illegal, punishment for both should send a message.

      These 2 positions will never come to a compromise. Group 1 cries for education and counseling, Group 2 says that Group 1’s ideas haven’t worked and punishment is needed. Polar opposites. The fact of the matter is that we have yet another dead kid because of the STUPID actions of another kid. The community is hurting because we want swifter action than what is taking place. The latest stunt pulled by Aaron’s alleged killer fans these flames.

      Youth is truly wasted on the young who want to grow up so fast.

      • Travis Goodwin says:

        Well, that’s a succinct way to sum up YOUR viewpoint, RW, but – again – you’ve missed the larger point, argued by a majority of folks on here (to borrow your parlance, I’ll call them “Group 3”): let the legal side run its course, but let’s also amp up the education on the negatives to underage drinking, and provide the counseling and rehab that the driver (and other teens addicted to drinking) need. “Crying for education and counseling” does NOT mean that I – or anyone else who feels that way – merely dismiss anything with the “kids will be kids” notion that you loathe. Please don’t insult our intelligence with that.

        You persist in using inflammatory words (“latest stunt by Aaron’s killer,” etc.), which merely make you look close-minded and shallow of thought. We get it – you’d have fit right in back in Sparta, or the Old West, or in a Puritan village where vengeance was swift if not fully thought out (see the Salem witch trials). Your pithy dismissal of this teen writer further marginalizes your ideas, for all you advocate is punish, punish, punish. That is a part of what’s coming, but it’s not the only part.

        • You think the teens are addicted to drinking? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That is a load of hooey!! They do it because they WANT to.

          As for my advocation of punishment…punish the perp to educate the teens what will happen to them if they run into the same situation.

          Not once have I ever said anyone else’s opinions were close-minded or shallow of thought. I merely argued my point. The fact that you and others seem to keep dismissing mine in the same way just shows you are what you perceive me to be.

          • Yes, they drink because they want to…but what makes you assume some aren’t addicted? Wanting to do something can be because of an addiction. Teenagers can become addicted to drugs and alcohol just as easily as anyone else, if not easier. But at the same point, I agree most of it is done because it’s considered fun, but you can’t just assume none of these kids have addiction problems.

          • Addiction comes from WANTING to do something first. An addict WANTED to try that first drink they took, that first line of coke they did, that first meth hit. It all started with WANTING to do something. (I will cede babies born addicted to drugs did not WANT that first try) Do you see my point? The addiction came as a result of WANTING.

          • Sounds like you speak from experience. Otherwise perhaps you shouldn’t speak. I do, I started drinking at 15 years old and it very quickly (all caps might work here but I won’t yell) became a habit that would be hard to let go of. I don’t know at what point it became addiction, or even what I was addicted to. Not that you would understand.

            I guess the next thread will have to be defining “wanting” vs “WANTING”.

    • Fellow Mother says:

      You are a wise young man. Taking the moral high ground is always the better route in life. I’m sure your parents are extremely proud of you! I wish you the best football season ever…….in memory of your friend….ABS.

  63. As a matter of curiousity, where in Clarke County do the teens have to go and just hang out, to talk, listen to their type of music and dance, if they still enjoy this type of entertainment? Back in the day, we had places in Winchester and Berryville where just the high school teens could do this. Is this a thing of the past? We had lots of fun, corny as it sounds. In looking around and asking questions, there are places for sports and one place in Winchester that seems to be geared just to Junior high kids. Is it possible that no one has thought of such a place or is it just too much trouble. I see where lots of folks jumped on board for the restoring of those beautiful old barns. Are the young people of the community worth as much, if not more attention?
    Also, I’ve read many comments about though love and the consequences of teens poor judgement. There are many adults who exibit poor judgement as well. Teens of this era mature much later in years than we did. They have been sheltered and life has been a little easier for them. I know that lessons need to be learned and consequences for actions must be paid, but calling names and bickering back and forth on this site does no good. As to “Tough Love”, make sure that you have been there to exibit positive experiences and love before you met out the tough stuff. Have you ever acted out in anger when your young person was not doing as you felt they should? Did you ever threaten and call them names? Curse at them when they are alone or with their friends? Do you have real conversations with them each day and show interest in what they are saying and doing? Are you and have you always been there for them? Do you build up their self esteem and not tear it down. Many children have been treated negativily most of their lives. This does help in a child/teens ability to make rational decisions. They just might feel that they need to escape the hurt in their hearts. Sometimes they just want feel important to someone. To know that they count for something. There are mentoring programs in this area. Find out about them through your school system and if you see a teen in need, why not step up to the plate and give this kid a hand. In stead of being critical, be helpful.
    Come on Clarke County, let’s not pit kid against kid and neighbor against neighbor. Work together for the good of all and keep Clarke County the same place that people are proud to be a part of or from.