Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Two Adults Get Jail Sentence in the Helium Death of a 14-Year-Old Girl

Jackson County Circuit Court sentenced a man and woman to jail after they admitted their roles in the February 2012 helium death of an Oregon teenager.

Katherine McAloon, 28, pleaded no contest to criminal mistreatment charges and guilty to a charge of delivering marijuana to a minor and three counts of furnishing alcohol to minors. She will be serving 28 months in prison, along with three months of post-prison supervision and about $300 in restitution.

Meanwhile, Richard Mowery, 33, was given a 90-day prison sentence and three years post-prison supervision after pleading no contest to criminally negligent homicide. He is also required to pay more than $10,000 in restitution, according to the Mail Tribune report.

The length of the sentences was based on the evidence presented in court, which showed that the incident was a result of poor decisions.

Authorities said McAloon threw a birthday party at her apartment, which was attended by 14-year-old Ashley Long and friends.

Long reportedly engaged in alcohol drinking and later inhaled helium from a tank to make her voice sound funny. But the teenager collapsed after an air bubble entered her blood stream and blocked blood flow. Police responded to a 911 call and found the girl unconscious and no longer breathing. She was brought to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

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