OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The question that remains front and center in the investigation into Toyin Amuda’s drowning…could the homeowners face social host charges?
Amuda was pulled from a pool in the Deer Creek area on June 16.
The 18-year-old was one of nearly three dozen teens attending a birthday party.
According to an affidavit, many of those teens were drinking underage and smoking marijuana.
Court documents also reveal three adults were home at the time of the party, including the two homeowners.
“The fact that you are the homeowner there is this either you know, or you had reason to know you had a gathering going on at your residence. And so, for that reason, you got some liability that can be pointed your way,” said defense attorney, Tony Coleman.
Coleman is not connected to Amuda’s case.
Under Oklahoma’s Social Host Law, if people under 21 are gathered and drinking on private property, the person who provides the location is considered the social host and can be held accountable.
The bottom line, all homeowners have a tremendous responsibility.
“It’s important that everyone understands the rationale behind this particular type of law,” said Coleman. “It’s simple, don’t provide a forum for young underage people to engage in alcohol consumption. Whether that be your home, rather you go out and rent a place, and you invite others to come, that’s the operable word here is invite. These people were invited. They were not trespassers. So, someone invited them there rather it be the homeowners themselves or family members of the homeowners. Someone invited them there.”
Witnesses described “the consumption of alcohol and marijuana by partygoers, including Toyin.” According to the documents, Amuda was also “seen carrying a beer can during the party.”
No charges have been filed in this case, and the investigation is ongoing.
Defense attorney Tony Coleman said that’s to be expected. Social host charges should not be filed right away.
He adds it takes an organized and careful investigation to make sure all the facts are known.
“You don’t want to rush to judgment here and cause others to be harmed or suffer in a way that you can avoid if you take your time to do things right,” said Coleman. “Even though they are homeowners and the social host statue sort of points a finger in their direction. They are still entitled to their defense and representation.”
The family’s lawyer will not answer questions about the newly uncovered information, including the cell phone the family or their attorney did not hand over to authorities.
That phone was eventually seized during a search warrant.