September 18, 2020

Teen dies after consuming a quart of vodka

AUBURN – The adult who supplied liquor for a weekend party of underage drinkers bowed down in admiration when a teenager gulped down a quart of vodka without stopping, police said.

Adam Beggs, 18, passed out and died in the Granite Street apartment, where police found his body on a mattress early Saturday morning. While the official cause of death may not be known for weeks, police believe the Auburn man succumbed to alcohol poisoning.

Larando Sweeting, 23, of Auburn has been ordered held on $75,000 bail on a Class C felony charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor, punishable by up to five years in prison.

After initially denying that he supplied the party with a half-gallon bottle of vodka and a fifth of whiskey, Sweeting changed his story and admitted making the purchases, according to a police affidavit filed in Androscoggin County Superior Court.

Beggs drank about three-quarters of the bottle of Orloff vodka and roughly half the bottle of whiskey, Sweeting told Detective Chad Syphers.

Sweeting said he consumed only a couple of shots of the vodka and bowed down before Beggs as a sign of admiration when he downed half the bottle in a continuous stream, according to the affidavit.

Other witnesses said Beggs, a recent graduate of Edward Little High School, had been drinking heavily Friday night. Friends said he had been depressed about a card game and money issues.

Syphers quoted Sweeting as saying he feared revealing his true identify because he was free on bail on a charge of gross sexual assault. Sweeting was indicted last month for allegedly having sex with a girl younger than 14.

Police viewed Sweeting’s liquor purchase on a video taken by surveillance cameras at a Big Apple store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Sweeting told the detective he spent $24 of the party-goers’ $43 on the booze and kept the rest for gas money.

Correction: A shorter version of this article ran on page B2 in the Coastal edition.

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