Local teacher charged after minors given alcohol at weekend gathering

Christie Miller. (Jail photo)
Christie Miller. (Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 6:36 PM CST
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A former Lampasas Middle School teacher is free on bond after she was arrested and charged with purchasing/furnishing alcohol to a minor, a class A misdemeanor, following a weekend gathering at her home during which 14- and 15-year-old boys and girls drank rum and vodka, some until they vomited, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Friday.

Christie Searl Miller, 46, of Kempner who had been with the district for 10 years, was placed on administrative leave following an investigation that was launched after district officials learned of the allegations on Monday, Superintendent Chane Rascoe said.

Miller resigned and was arrested on Wednesday.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said the incident has been reported to Texas Child Protective Services.

Rascoe, meanwhile, has submitted a report to the Texas Education Agency.

He said Friday the district has already found a replacement for the former teacher.

“She's fully certified and knows our students well,” he said.

The arrest was the result of a Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office investigation launched in response to complaint received on Sunday that an adult had furnished alcohol to minors at a home on County Road 3351 outside of Kempner, the affidavit said.

Lampasas County investigators interviewed teenagers who gathered Saturday in the backyard of Miller’s home who said they were provided with a thermos full of vodka and a bottle of Bacardi rum, the affidavit says.

“Miller cautioned the children to wait for Miller’s husband to go to bed before the children could start drinking the alcohol,” according to one teenager whom investigators questioned.

Another teenager, however, “alleges that Miller’s daughter cautioned the children to wait until Miller’s husband went to bed to consume alcohol.”

One boy told investigators “he consumed alcohol to the point that he cannot remember any further details of the night.”

A 14-year-old girl said she “began ‘vigorously’ vomiting after consuming alcohol.”

Another teenager “consumed alcohol to the point that he was stumbling and vomited” before he passed out, the affidavit says.

Two 15-year-old boys who were at the gathering corroborated the other accounts, the affidavit says.

And a 16-year-old boy who drove to the home later in his own vehicle told an investigator that when he arrived “the children had already consumed alcohol” and that one “was observed to be ill.”

Miller told an investigator on Tuesday that she had picked up her daughter and several other children and taken them to her home “so that they could socialize,” the affidavit says.

She told the investigator that she stopped before picking up the teenagers to buy food for the children and that she also purchased a bottle of Bacardi intended for her use, the affidavit says.

Miller told the investigator “she drove the children to her residence and left the children in the backyard for approximately one hour,” the affidavit says.

“When she went to check on the children Miller found that they had been drinking and one child was sick,” the affidavit says.

“Miller alleges that Miller’s daughter was the one to provide alcohol to the children,” the affidavit says.

She denied “that she was aware the children consumed alcohol until after one of the children became ill,” the affidavit says.

Miller, a seventh grade science teacher, posted a $2,500 bond after her arrest Wednesday and was released.

“We are definitely saddened by it, but we’re thankful the sheriff’s department worked hard and is working with us to make sure to prevent this from happening again” Rascoe said

(Alex Cano and Christy Soto contributed to this story)