Hours before her friend drove drunk and died, Amanda Heiman asked her fellow Waterloo bar servers to take over the table where he and another young man sat — saying she was afraid she wouldn't be able to refuse their requests for alcohol.
“Heiman (said) she didn't want to take the table because the guys had been texting her earlier about coming in and drinking,” according to an arrest warrant for Heiman. “Heiman (said) she didn't want to say 'no.' ”
Heiman later shared the same concerns with another co-worker at the Fire Barn Bar & Grill.
Despite that reluctance, authorities allege, Heiman served alcohol to Jacob Dickmeyer, 18, and Colby Burke, 19, in the hours before the Dec. 3 crash on West Dodge Road in which Dickmeyer died and Burke was seriously injured.
Douglas County prosecutors charged Heiman on Tuesday under a new law that makes it a felony to procure alcohol for a minor who then gets involved in a crash that causes death or serious bodily injury.
Dickmeyer's blood-alcohol content was .24 percent, according to autopsy results. The legal limit for driving for anyone over 21 is .08.
Amanda Heiman, 20, turned herself in this morning on one felony count of procuring alcohol for a minor, Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said. She is being held at the Douglas County Jail.
Dickmeyer was pronounced dead at the scene. Burke suffered a broken pelvis and head injuries in the car crash near 208th Street and West Dodge Road, just a few minutes and miles from the bar where they had consumed alcohol.
Kleine said this is the first providing-alcohol-to-a-minor case to be filed under the new law in Douglas County. The law was sparked in part by the death of Omaha newlywed Jessica Bedient, who died in 2010 after an Omaha crash caused by an underage drinker. Bedient's loved ones, including her father and her husband, pushed for the increased penalty after authorities were able to obtain only a misdemeanor conviction for the woman who provided alcohol to the underage drinker.
“This law was enacted for just this type of case,” Kleine said of the Waterloo case.
Heiman's attorney, Michael Tasset, declined to address the allegations, except to say this: “It appears there is plenty of blame to go around.”
According to the affidavit of State Patrol investigator Nicholas Jaworski:
Dickmeyer and another young man — someone other than Burke — entered the Fire Barn about 4 p.m. that day, Dec. 2. A waitress said “she thought Dickmeyer and (the teen had) been drinking prior to arriving at the bar.”
The waitress said she served a glass of water and a Dr. Pepper to the teens.
The waitress “described a conversation she had with Heiman that day regarding serving Dickmeyer alcohol. (The waitress) told Heiman not to serve them alcohol later and that they had just completed training and she knows better.”
The waitress said Dickmeyer and his friend left. She and the bar manager eventually went home for the day — leaving Heiman and a bartender to work late.
Dickmeyer returned about 8:30 p.m. Sunday — this time with Burke. Surveillance video showed them inside the bar.
According to their tab, the teens drank two pitchers of beer, four “Jägerbomb” shots and two Long Island iced teas.
The young men were served by Heiman, who was their friend, according to Burke and Fire Barn co-owner Steve Franson.
Franson said the waitress also gave Dickmeyer and Burke the keys to her 2004 Saturn Ion.
With Dickmeyer at the wheel, Omaha police say, the teenagers from Valley headed east on West Dodge Road before crashing at 208th Street in a single-vehicle rollover early Dec. 3.
Police said alcohol containers, including a nearly empty bottle of Jägermeister, a 70-proof German liqueur, were found at the crash scene. Video surveillance at the bar showed the teens drinking before the crash, police said.
Kleine said the investigation continues.
However, the Douglas County attorney said he doesn't anticipate any criminal action against the bar's owners. Others will have to determine whether the bar will face any repercussions in civil court or from the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, Kleine said.
If convicted, Heiman could face up to five years in prison or five years of probation.
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