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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Former Bartender Sentenced for Serving Underage Girl Who Fell from Balcony Last St. Patrick's Day

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 1:22 PM

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Update: Last St. Patrick's Day 20-year-old Megan Keefe fell from the second floor of the now-closed Spirits nightclub on West 6th St., striking her head on a granite railing. One year later, she's in a physical rehabilitation center and will never fully recover.

A lot of factors played into the incident, including a faulty railing. Spirits also wasn't certified to have patrons on the second floor. Plus, Keefe was intoxicated and underage. Carisa Buehner, a former bartender who was one of the bar staff that day, served Keefe three vodka drinks without requesting identification.

She was sentenced this week to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service, to be served in a facility like the one Keefe now resides in, after pleading no-contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

Cleveland muni judge Joseph Zone said the timing, a few days away from St. Patrick's Day, wasn't a coincidence, according to Cleveland.com.

"I hope every bartender out there hears this and considers this on St. Patrick's Day and everyday," Zone said.


(Original story 10/6/2017): Via multiple local reports, a bartender who served alcohol to an underage girl who later fell from a second-floor balcony at Spirits Nightclub on St. Patrick's Day has been criminally charged.

Carisa Buehner, 29, sold three vodka drinks to 20-year-old Megan Keefe without checking her ID, according to investigators. Selling or furnishing alcohol to an underage person is a first degree misdemeanor. Buehner was summoned in July, but has not yet appeared in court. (Fox 8 reported that Buehner no longer lives at her Chardon home.)

Keefe suffered severe head injuries in the fall at the Warehouse District establishment. Spirits was not certified to have patrons on the second floor.

More than six months removed from the incident, Keefe has yet to regain consciousness. She currently resides at a long-term assisted-living facility in Parma and requires round-the-clock care. In a lawsuit filed against the bar, Keefe's parents estimated that it would cost $10 million to provide care for Keefe for the rest of her life.

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