Adults & teens charged in connection to Watervliet youth’s death

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Mason Mizwicki

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. — A New Year’s Eve teenage gathering at a Watervliet home resulted in the death of 16-year-old Mason Mizwicki (above) from an overdose of prescription Methadone.

Now  Tyler Taylor, a friend of Mizwicki’s, is alleged to have arranged with his mother, Tara Teitsma, to deliver her prescription Methadone pills to Mizwicki.  Others at the gathering at the Donald Jewell home on Congress Street in Watervliet have told investigators the delivery was made to Mizwicki and that Mizwicki consumed the Methadone.

It is also alleged Teitsma provided beer for the party as well as prescription Xanax. Another party participant, Caleb Cox, is accused of delivering Xanax pills that night as well.

Teitsma, 36, of Watervliet is charged with delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) causing death, a life maximum crime; conspiracy to deliver (with her son, Tyler Taylor) a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) causing death, also a life maximum crime; delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) to a minor, a 40-year maximum; conspiracy to deliver a schedule II  controlled substance (Methadone) to a minor, also a 40-year maximum; delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax) to a minor, an 8-year maximum; and furnishing alcohol to a minor, a 60-day misdemeanor.

Teitsma’s son, Tyler Taylor, 16, also of Watervliet, is charged in juvenile court with  delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) causing death, a life maximum crime; conspiracy to deliver (with his mother, Tara Teitsma) a schedule II controlled substance (Methadone) causing death, also a life maximum crime; delivery of a schedule II  controlled substance (Methadone) to a minor, a 40-year maximum; and conspiracy to deliver a schedule II  controlled substance to a minor, (Methadone), also a 40-year maximum.

Waiver of Tyler Taylor to adult court will be sought.

Caleb Cox, 17, of Bridgman is charged in adult court with delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax), a four-year felony.

Zachary Jewell, 16, is charged in juvenile court with allowing consumption of alcohol or controlled substances on his premises at his Congress Street home, a 30-day misdemeanor.

Zachary’s father, Donald Jewell, 40, is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a 90-day misdemeanor, and allowing consumption of alcohol or controlled substances on his premises, a 30-day misdemeanor.

Autopsy results indicate Mason Mizwicki’s cause of death was due to “acute Methadone toxicity.”

Teitsma was arraigned on these charges today. Bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety and a preliminary exam conference is set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27 and a preliminary examination for March 5.

Cox was arraigned on these charges today as well.  Bond was set at $7,500 cash or surety and a preliminary exam conference is set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27 and a preliminary examination for March 5.

Donald Jewell posted an interim bond and will be arraigned at a later date.

Tyler Taylor and Zachary Jewell will receive notices to appear in juvenile court at a later date.

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