"Party Mom" Now Serving Time in Jail

June 29, 2005 -- Posted at 7:21 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- In her appeal, Tonya Curtis gets twice the amount of jail time than she received in her previous conviction.


On Wednesday, a jury found Curtis guilty on three out of four charges she faced in court.


Curtis held a party in April of 2005 for a group of 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds at her home.  Over 70 kids were found on the property when police arrived, as well as two kegs of beer.


On Wednesday, Curtis was found guilty of the following:


-         contributing to the delinquency of a minor

-          guilty of knowingly selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor

-          guilty of endangering the welfare of a minor


The jury found Curtis not guilty of selling liquor in a dry county.


The jury also was responsible for her sentencing, that sentence came down Wednesday afternoon.


Curtis is sentenced to spend 88 days in jail, serve 180 hours of alcohol related community service, pay $2,100 in fines, and pay court costs.


Her sentence in jail will be served concurrently, and will begin immediately.


“No one likes to go to jail.  Obviously, we think that there are alternatives that could have been done, but the jury deliberated a long time.  Obviously they gave it a lot of thought,” said Curtis’ attorney Martin Lilly.


However, because the sentence will be served concurrently, Curtis will only spend 74 of those 88 days behind bars.


“She’s obviously upset; she’s a mother and has children, so she’s obviously upset.  She has a strong family and they will help her get through it,” said Lilly.


Lilly said this appeal is something he and his client wanted to do, even though the verdict they received isn’t the one they wanted.


“Hind sight is always twenty-twenty.  This was about more than just how many days in jail a person can do or not do.  This was about some of the charges that we didn’t feel were fair,” said Lilly.


All parties involved feel the verdict and sentence are fair.


“Although you’re always disappointed in a situation like this, we think the jury did the right thing and was fair,” said Lilly.


“I’m quite pleased.  I think the jury took the circumstances and the situation seriously.  They indicated that with their verdict and with the sentence they imposed,” said Jonesboro City Attorney Phillip Crego.

Curtis can now appeal this sentence.  Her attorney, Martin Lilly, said he and his client will take a few days and talk that option over.