AUBURN – The adult supplier of booze for a party of underage drinkers last weekend bowed down in admiration in front of a teen who swigged a quart of vodka all at once, police said.

The teen later passed out and died.

Police found the lifeless body of Adam Beggs, 18, early Saturday morning on a mattress in the second-floor apartment at 22 Granite St. Witnesses said the youth had been drinking heavily the night before. Attempts to revive him at the scene failed.

Police arrested Larando Sweeting, 23, of 317 Main St. and charged him with furnishing liquor to a minor, a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Sweeting first lied to police about his identity and age and denied that he supplied the party with a half-gallon bottle of vodka and a fifth of whiskey, according to an affidavit sworn by police Detective Chad Syphers filed at Androscoggin County Superior Court.

Sweeting said he feared revealing his true identify because he was free on bail on a charge of gross sexual assault, Syphers wrote. An October indictment alleges Sweeting had sex with a girl younger than 14. He also was charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

Sweeting later changed his story, admitting to police he bought the liquor at a Big Apple store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, Syphers wrote. Police viewed the buy on store surveillance cameras. Sweeting spent $24 of the party-goers’ $43 on the booze and kept the rest for gas money, he told Syphers.

Beggs drank about three-quarters of the bottle of Orlof vodka and roughly half of the bottle of Ezra whiskey, Sweeting told Syphers.

When Beggs downed half the bottle of vodka in a continuous stream, Sweeting bowed down before the teen, he told Syphers, who added it was a sign of admiration. Sweeting consumed only a couple of shots of the vodka, he said.

Interviews with witnesses from the party – including five who lived in the apartment – were so similar that Syphers grew suspicious, he wrote. After conducting follow-up interviews, he concluded Sweeting’s earlier story had been “fabricated” before police arrived, including Sweeting’s false first name, Tyrone.

A doctor at Central Maine Medical Center said Beggs was dead on arrival at the hospital. He had been dead for about two hours, judging from his body temperature.

The doctor said he couldn’t be certain of the cause of Beggs’ death. Based on information from the ambulance crew that transported Beggs, the doctor told Syphers he was “highly suspicious that alcohol was a factor.”

A spokesperson at the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday that it could be weeks before the official cause of Beggs’ death is known.

Friends said Beggs had been depressed about a card game and money issues.

A complaint against Sweeting, charging furnishing liquor to a minor and violation of condition of release, a Class E misdemeanor, said those charges likely would be presented to an Androscoggin County grand jury.

Sweeting remained in Androscoggin County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $75,000 cash bail.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.