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Party Host Charged In Death Of Teen Who Inhaled Laughing Gas

May 27, 1990

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ A party host was charged with manslaughter in the death of a teen-age guest who apparently inhaled laughing gas, authorities said.

Jonathan Sutton, 23, of suburban Homewood surrendered to Jefferson County authorities Friday night on charges stemming from the death of Kristi Ann Lowery, 18. He was released on $5,000 bond, a deputy said.

The high school senior died May 20 after apparently inhaling undiluted nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, at the party, authorities said.

The gas played a role in the woman’s death, said Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Jay Glass. When undiluted, nitrous oxide can cut off oyxgen to the brain or trigger irregular heartbeats, he said.

Sutton surrendered on the advice of his attorney, J. Scott Boudreaux, who accused the district attorney’s office of yielding to public pressure to bring charges.

University of Alabama at Birmingham officials fired Sutton from his job as a university store clerk last week after he told Homewood police he had taken home the gas container linked to Miss Lowery’s death, said university spokeswoman Pam Jones.

Campus police charged him with theft of property, she said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Roger Brown said Boudreaux called him Friday asking if there were any other charges against his client. After being told Sutton was being charged with manslaughter, Boudreaux took him to the county jail, Brown said.

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