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Adults, teens charged in connection with teen's death

Five people, teens and adults, are facing charges related to a New Year's Eve gathering that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Mason Mizwicki from a methadone overdose, according to the Berrien County Prosecutor's Office.

Mizwicki's cause of death was due to "acute methadone toxicity."

The gathering was at the home of Donald Jewell on Congress Street in Watervliet.

According to investigators, Mizwicki's friend 16-year-old Tyler Taylor arranged to give his mother's methadone pills to Mizwicki.

Mizwicki was given the methadone pills and he took them, according to investigators.

Tyler's mother, 36-year-old Tara Teitsma allegedly provided the methadone, beer and Xanax for the party.

Caleb Cox, 17, is also accused of taking Xanax pills to the party that night as well, reports said.
  • Teitsma has been charged with Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methadone) Causing Death, Conspiracy to Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methadone) Causing Death, Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methadone) to a minor, Conspiracy to Deliver a Schedule II  Controlled Substance (Methadone) to a minor, Delivery of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance (Xanax) to a minor and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor.
  • Tyler Taylor has been charged in juvenile court with  Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methadone) Causing Death, Conspiracy to Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Methadone) Causing Death, Delivery of a Schedule II  Controlled Substance (Methadone) to a minor, Conspiracy to Deliver a Schedule II  Controlled Substance to a minor (Methadone).  Waiver of Tyler Taylor to adult court will be sought.  
  • Caleb Cox has been charged in adult court with Delivery of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance (Xanax).
  • Zachary Jewell, 16, has been charged in juvenile court with Allowing Consumption of Alcohol or Controlled Substances on his premises.
  • Donald Jewell, 40, has been charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Allowing Consumption of Alcohol or Controlled Substances on his Premises.
Teitsma was arraigned and bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety and a preliminary exam conference is set for February 27, 2015 at 8:30 am and preliminary examination for March 5.

Cox was arraigned on the above charges. Bond was set at $7,500 cash or surety and a preliminary exam conference is set for February 27, 2015 at 8:30 am and preliminary examination for March 5.

Donald Jewell posted an interim bond and will be arraigned at a later date.



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