Prom party parents facing new charges By JAMIE SATTERFIELD, knews.com
May 16, 2007


LENOIR CITY - A West Knox County businessman accused along with his wife of throwing a drunken prom party watched wide-eyed Tuesday as authorities presented a new warrant against them.

"You have new charges," Loudon County Judicial Commissioner Cissy Chapman told Jack and Katharine Butturini.

The couple, in Loudon County General Sessions Court to be arraigned on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, looked at each other in surprise. Katharine Butturini cast a quizzical look at her husband, who shrugged in response.

The new charge leveled against the Butturinis accuses each of furnishing alcohol to minors, an allegation they have denied.

"Several underage individuals said the alcohol was provided by the homeowners," Chapman read from the warrant.

Jack Butturini is a karate instructor who owns karate studios in Bearden and Farragut. He and his wife wound up in handcuffs after Loudon County Sheriff's Office Deputy T.J. Scarbrough alleges he showed up at their waterfront house to find drunken teenagers May 6.

A warrant drafted by Scarbrough alleges there were some 50 young people inside the Sandy Shores Drive home. Deputies later cited 20 of them on charges of underage drinking.

Court records allege the couple provided beer and liquor to attendees of a prom party for their 18-year-old daughter and her fellow Farragut High School friends. Records show the couple owns a home in Knox County in the Farragut school zone. A school spokesman said the family can send its children to Farragut because they have dual residency in Knox and Loudon counties.

The Butturinis have denied the allegations that they provided alcohol to teens, contending the drunken kids crashed their daughter's party and supplied their own booze.

Jack Butturini has said he was asleep at the time Scarbrough arrived and didn't know his house was packed with boozy teenagers.

Katharine Butturini has said she was making breakfast for invited guests and also was unaware that inebriated crashers were inside her home.

The pair initially were accused of a broad charge of contributing to the accused teenagers' delinquency, a claim under the law alleging an adult has helped or encouraged a youngster's bad behavior.

The charge filed Tuesday is more specific, leveling an accusation that the Butturinis actually supplied the booze the youngsters are alleged to have imbibed.

Although he stopped short of nixing the notion of a plea deal on either misdemeanor charge, defense attorney Joe Hoffer said a trial was likely.

"We haven't had an opportunity to speak with the government yet, so it's premature to say," Hoffer said outside court Tuesday. "But I cannot imagine that Mr. Butturini or Mrs. Butturini would enter a plea of guilty."

Chapman did not require the pair to post a new bond on the additional charges, but she did order the couple be booked through the Loudon County Jail again.

"They're pretty shocked by the accusations against them," said Hoffer, who advised the couple not to make any statements to the media as they left the jail.

There is a sign posted at one of Jack Butturini's karate studios advising any concerned parents to meet with him Wednesday night at the business. Asked if the public airing of the allegations had hurt the Butturinis' businesses, Hoffer responded, "I suspect anyone that knows Mr. and Mrs. Butturini are as sure as I am that these allegations are untrue."

Chapman set the next hearing for June 27.
New charges against Butturinis By News Sentinel staff
May 15, 2007

LOUDON New charges were revealed this morning against West Knox County businessman Jack Butturini and his wife, Katharine, in connection with an after-prom party at their Loudon County home.

Twenty partygoers were charged with underage drinking after deputies arrived at the home early on the morning of May 6, after the Farragut prom.

The couple was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and seemed surprised this morning when Judicial Commissioner Cissy Chapman said new charges of providing alcohol to a minor had been added by the sheriff.

The Butturinis left General Sessions Court to be processed again at the Loudon County jail, where they were to be fingerprinted and photographed.

Chapman set a June 27 hearing date for the case.

Butturini owns karate studios in Bearden and Farragut that tout building character in children.

He has offered to meet tomorrow evening with any parents concerned about the party, which he and his wife said occurred without their knowledge or permission.

The Butturinis said Friday that they are the victims of an onslaught of party crashers and aggressive sheriff's deputies.

"They could have been drinking somewhere else, but I didn't give them anything to drink," Jack Butturini said.

The businessman said he went to bed shortly after his daughter, Katie Butturini, 18, and about a dozen of her friends arrived at the house about 12:30 a.m. after the Farragut prom.

"I wish now I had just stayed up," Butturini said.

Katharine Butturini said she was awake but busied herself preparing a breakfast of French toast, eggs and biscuits for her daughter's friends.

Jack Butturini said his son awakened him and informed him of the deputies at the front door. He said he refused to allow the officers into his home "because I wanted to find out what was going on in my house."

The Butturinis said Katherine Butturini invited the officers into the house against her husband's wishes. Katherine Butturini said she is a teetotaler and was surprised when a deputy opened a door to a room to reveal it full of teens.

"I thought the police were going to help us get it under control, but it was totally the opposite," she said.

Loudon County Sheriff's Office Deputy T.J. Scarbrough said, "It was one of the largest parties I've ever seen."

Scarbrough said the Loudon County Sheriff's Office was alerted about 3 a.m. to a large number of vehicles parked at the Butturinis' Sandy Shores Drive residence. Scarbrough said that when he arrived he found cars lined the street and filled the yard of the waterfront residence.

Knox County schools spokesman Russ Oaks said the Buttirinis have dual residency in Loudon and in Knox County's Farragut high school zone, which allows their children to attend Farragut.
When 'little prom party blew up' Man, wife charged in underage drinking bout

By DON JACOBS, jacobs@knews.com
May 12, 2007

A West Knox County businessman, whose karate training touts building character in children, and his wife face charges they provided beer and liquor to 20 underage people at their daughter's after-prom party.

Jack and Katharine Butturini were charged May 6 with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after authorities broke up a party at the couple's waterfront Loudon County home.

"It was one of the largest parties I've ever seen," said Loudon County Sheriff's Office Deputy T.J. Scarbrough.

Court records show deputies cited seven people under the age of 18 on charges of underage consumption. The identities of the juveniles scheduled to appear May 22 in Loudon County Juvenile Court are not public record.

Deputies cited 13 others between 18 and the legal age of 21 to Loudon County General Sessions Court. When they appear May 23 in court, they also will be fingerprinted and photographed, Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider said.

Scarbrough said the Loudon County Sheriff's Office was alerted about 3 a.m. to a large number of vehicles parked at the Butturinis' Sandy Shores Drive residence. Scarbrough said that when he arrived he found cars lined the street and filled the yard of the waterfront residence.

"I saw a couple of kids in a vehicle, and one of them was throwing up," Scarbrough said. "They said they'd been drinking at the party."

The vomiting girl was accompanied by her prom date, the deputy said.

"They'd been to the Farragut (High School) prom and then somewhere else, and then they migrated to this location," Guider said. "There were about nine or 10 who were not drinking."

Scarbrough said that when he knocked on the door of the house, Jack Butturini refused him entry.

"Everybody was in the house or in the back," Scarbrough said.

The deputy said he called for his supervisor, Sgt. J.J. Wiggins, who came to the scene. Wiggins telephoned a judge, Scarbrough said, to see about obtaining a search warrant. About the same time, he said, Katharine Butturini opted to let the officers in without a search warrant.

"They'd done away with most of it by the time we got in," Scarbrough said. "They'd either poured it out or trashed it, but there were plenty of empty cans and bottles."

From 3 a.m.-7 a.m., five Loudon County officers administered sobriety tests to dozens of people in the house and issued citations.

Scarbrough said deputies called the parents of the cited juveniles to come get their children.

"They seemed concerned that the parents had allowed the kids to drink," he said. "They wanted to know if they (the Butturinis) were being charged."

The Butturinis said an upset Jack Butturini and a crying Katharine Butturini were led away to jail. They each posted a $1,000 bond after a couple hours behind bars. The Butturinis are scheduled to appear in Loudon County General Sessions Court on Monday.

Jack Butturini owns karate studios in Bearden and Farragut.

Scarbrough said Katharine Butturini "thought she'd done a good deed by keeping them there and letting them drink."

The warrants charging the couple allege Scarbrough "found about 50 underage subjects at this residence, that had been drinking alcohol beverages while at the residence."

"Several of the underage people had made statements that the alcoholic beverages was (sic) provided by the home owners," the warrants stated.

The Butturinis on Friday denied the allegations. They said they are the victims of an onslaught of party crashers and aggressive sheriff's deputies.

"They could have been drinking somewhere else, but I didn't give them anything to drink," Jack Butturini said.

The businessman said he went to bed shortly after his daughter, Katie Butturini, 18, and about a dozen of her friends arrived at the house about 12:30 a.m. after the Farragut prom.

"I wish now I had just stayed up," Butturini said.

Katharine Butturini said she was awake but busied herself preparing a breakfast of French toast, eggs and biscuits for her daughter's friends.

Jack Butturini said his son awakened him and informed him of the deputies at the front door. He said he refused to allow the officers into his home "because I wanted to find out what was going on in my house."

The Butturinis said Katherine Butturini invited the officers into the house against her husband's wishes. Katherine Butturini said she is a teetotaler and was surprised when a deputy opened a door to a room to reveal it full of teens.

"I thought the police were going to help us get it under control, but it was totally the opposite," she said.

Jack Butturini said his daughter told him she "didn't know these people." He said the interlopers probably came from three other nearby after-prom parties in the neighborhood.

Records, however, show that 11 of the 13 people 18 and older charged with underage consumption attend Farragut High School. One citation was not available Friday at Loudon County General Sessions Court.

Jack Butturini said Sgt. Wiggins "was very aggressive, very unfriendly with me." He characterized the officers as "the Gestapo."

Jack Butturini said he found a single opened six-pack of beer on his property. Katie Butturini and her invited friends, he said, were the ones who had not been drinking and were not cited.

"What started as a little prom party blew up," he said. "I'm just glad nobody got hurt.

"In no way does it represent who me and my wife are."
 

Cited party-goers

Below is a list of the Knox County teens charged with underage consumption at the Loudon County home of Jack and Katharine Butturini.

* Will Tyler Akers, 18, of Winding Ridge Trail

* Kaylah Ashleigh Badeaux, 18, of Oakley Downs Road

* Mason L. Burks, 18, of Farragut Hills Boulevard

* Robert Lewis Greeley, 18, of Walnut Branch Lane

* Michael Scott Krahl, 18, of Sanderling Lane

* Ryan Charles Prout, 18, of Amberset Drive

* Kathryn Rachel Machiela, 18, of Autumn Valley Road

* Rachel Marie Mountain, 18, of Broken Saddle Road

* Kenneth Mark Mubarak, 18, of Maples Road

* Vincent Douglas Nutile, 19, of Legacy Park Road

* William Clay Wilhoite, 18, of Stahl Drive

* Andy Aaron Wyatt, 18, of Panama Drive

Note: All except Prout attended Farragut High School. One other person was charged but the citation was unavailable from Loudon County General Sessions Court. Seven people under the age of 18 also were charged. Those records are not public

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