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Ex-bar owner gets 4 years in drinking death

A former bar owner was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for the death of a woman who prosecutors said participated in a drinking contest involving a red, yellow and green concoction called the "Stoplight Challenge."
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former bar owner was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for the death of a woman who prosecutors said participated in a drinking contest involving a red, yellow and green concoction called the "Stoplight Challenge."

Billy Leroy Scott, 34, apologized to Juanita Goodpasture's family at the sentencing Thursday: "If we could change things, we would. ... I liked Juanita, she was a great person, and it's a tragedy we lost her."

Scott was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last month in the alcohol poisoning death of Goodpasture, 31, who had a blood alcohol content of .430 when she was found dead at her home in July 2004 after a night of drinking with her mother and sister.

"A lot of us are at fault, including myself," Goodpasture's mother, Bev Brown, told the court. "But he took a life and I think he should be punished for it."

The three women were drinking at The Point, a bar co-owned by Scott, when Scott served the red, yellow and green drink to Goodpasture, according to testimony.

Some said the "Stoplight Challenge" was used in a drinking contest; other witnesses testified the bar didn't sponsor one.

Such games are illegal under state law, but prosecutors said patrons were refunded the $15 cost of the drink and awarded a T-shirt if they could remain coherent for 30 minutes after consuming it.