Woman pleads guilty, sentenced for giving vodka to teen who died of alcohol poisoning

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — More than a year has passed since a York County teenager died after a night of drinking, and the woman accused of contributing to her death was sentenced in court Tuesday after pleading guilty.

Shelby Brakefield died in late 2018 from alcohol poisoning. Her parents started campaigning against underage drinking following her death.

“Because of the actions of the offender, my Shelby got a death sentence. My wife, my son, myself, our family and friends got a life sentence,” Shelby’s father, Greg Brakefield, said. “So, I just beg of you, the sentence handed down today fits the crime.”

Deputies said Kelly Hedrick bought vodka for the 16-year-old the night she died. Hedrick was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Michelle Brakefield discovered her daughter’s body.

“The operator asked if I could do CPR, but I couldn’t,” she told the judge. “Her chest was too hard.”

On Tuesday, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, but will only serve two, with 18 months probation to follow.

“I want each and every one of you to understand that I am truly, from the bottom of my heart, sorry,” Hedrick said Tuesday in court.

Hedrick was also sentenced to three years each on two charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor but because those run concurrently, it will not amount to more prison time.

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