HUNTERSVILLE – A Huntersville teen has pleaded guilty to killing his close friend in a 2010 wreck after he blacked out from huffing aerosol cleaner and slammed his car into a Birkdale movie theater.
Mark Tanner McMahon, 19, was sentenced to 6 months in jail and six months probabtion for pleading to felony death by vehicle, WBTV, the Herald Weekly’s news partner, reported.
North Mecklenburg High School senior Donald Francis McDermott, 17, died April 25, 2010, after the 2001 Buick he was riding in, driven by McMahon, hit a tree along Birkdale Commons Parkway and then careened into a concrete pillar at Movies at Birkdale.
Both teens had been “huffing” aerosol cleaners and several cans of Cleansafe Dust Remover, were found in the car, a search warrant issued last year said. Huffing refers to the practice of getting high from inhaling the toxic fumes from the canisters.
That search warrant, issued shortly after the wreck, portrays a night of hard partying leading up to the crash.
According to the search warrant, McDermott, McMahon and some other teens were at a house at 17224 Bridgeton Lane in Huntersville on April 24, 2010.
At that time, the mother of a friend to the teens rented the house and was home at the time of the party. That night, the boys went to a Walmart store and allegedly stole dust-remover spray, the warrant said. One of the teens started to huff it in the car, the search warrant said.
Eventually, all of the teens returned to the home on Bridgeton Lane.
Several teens and young adults also were smoking marijuana and drinking, and at one point, the woman renting the house came downstairs and had beer with the them, according to the search warrant.
The teens played drinking games before McDermott and McMahon left. They eventually came back to the house with more dust-remover spray.
The teens began to huff and passed out briefly. The adult woman came downstairs and watched the party. She grabbed the cans and put them away.
Around 2 a.m., McDermott and McMahon left the home to pick up McDermott’s girlfriend.
About an hour later, the two teens went to Walmart and allegedly stole more dust-remover spray to inhale. They dropped McDermott’s girlfriend off at home about 4 a.m., and a short time later, McMahon wrecked the car.
The woman who rented the house where the party was held left for Florida shortly after the accident, and her involvement in the case was unclear this week.
– Staff report