Michele McKinney Says Simply Being Suspected Is Like A Life Sentence

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island mom is in the legal fight of her life after being accused of letting kids get drunk at her home.

Michele McKinney will be in court Wednesday, but she said suspicion she served booze to 14-year-olds is already a life sentence.

In a CBS 2 exclusive, McKinney spoke with Hazel Sanchez about what she says really happened that night.

She’s a mom with a mug shot, but McKinney says she’s no criminal.

“I would never allow, condone alcohol to minors,” McKinney said.

McKinney was busted in September for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of a child, after police said a 14-year-old girl who attended a party in McKinney’s backyard got so drunk she ended up in the hospital.

But McKinney said the child did not drink alcohol on her property.

Sanchez: “Was there alcohol at the party?”

McKinney: “Absolutely not.”

Sanchez: “Did you serve alcohol?”

McKinney: “Absolutely not.”

McKinney’s attorney said, “This young girl who’s complained about Michelle has said in Facebook postings and the such that Michelle never served her alcohol.”

Police broke up the party because of noise complaints, then left. Two days after the party, McKinney was arrested in front of her children. To this day, the 43-year-old mother of three says authorities have never questioned her or her attorney about what happened that night.

McKinney said the party was supposed to cheer up her 14-year-old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with a neurological disorder. Now, their world has turned upside down.

“It’s been horrible. It’s humiliating. I feel bad for my kids. Life has changed,” McKinney said.

McKinney has been overwhelmed with letters of support from the community. She said family and friends have given her strength.

“She watches her kids, takes good care of them, takes them to sports. She’s a good person,” neighbor Brian Cook said.

McKinney said a group of her supporters plans to rally around her when she’s back in court.

She said she hopes the charges will be dropped, but her defense team is confident if the case goes to trial. McKinney said she and two other adults checked guests’ bags to make sure they didn’t have alcohol. McKinney believes the 14-year-old showed up to her house drunk.

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