2 SM East students charged in ATV accident that killed Rathbun

Miami County District Attorney Elizabeth Sweeney-Reeder on Friday filed charges against two SM East students in the November ATV accident on a rural Miami County farm that killed SM East senior and soccer star Tyler Rathbun.

The district attorney’s office’s press release is copied below:

On today’s date, May 3, 2013, charges were filed in the District Court of Miami County, Kansas stemming from an incident that occurred in rural Miami County on November 25, 2012, that resulted in the death of Tyler Rathbun, age 17.

William Mahaffy Sutherland, age 18, of Overland Park, has been charged with Aggravated Endangering a Child and Unlawfully Hosting Minors Consuming Alcohol. Bond is set at $10,000 cash or surety. Taylor M. Sheets, age 18, of Prairie Village, Kansas, has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter-DUI. Bond is set at $15,000 cash or surety.

These charges are the result of an extensive investigation by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Olathe Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The charges against Sutherland and Sheets are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

We’ll add updates to this post as they become available.

UPDATED: David Morantz, an attorney representing the Rathbun family in a possible civil case, offered this comment on the news that charges have been filed:

“The Rathbun family’s thoughts are with all the kids involved in this tragedy. The family appreciates the Miami County sheriff’s office and the county attorney for their investigation into the case.”

Sweeney-Reeder said Sutherland and Sheets will be in contact with law enforcement to arrange turning themselves in for booking. At present, no court hearings have been set in the case. Sweeney-Reeder says hearing dates are likely to be set within the week.