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2 Grapevine teens die during a night of drugs

Posted Monday, Jan. 07, 2013  Print Reprints
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Audio: Cullen Marino talks to 911 operator

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A night of ingesting illegal drugs left two Southlake Carroll Senior High School students dead and a Grapevine man in custody Sunday, accused of failing to call 911 when he found them unconscious, Grapevine police said Sunday.

The teens, identified as Kyle McNutt, 17, and Chase Nunez, 18, both of Grapevine, had been drinking alcohol and taking a mixture of drugs Friday evening with Cullen Marino in Marino's home, Grapevine police said.

At some point during the night, Marino, 22, found the teens unconscious in the living room of his home in the 700 block of Heather Wood Drive in Grapevine, police Sgt. Robert Eberling said Sunday.

"The investigation indicated that the victims may have had a chance if they had received medical treatment at that time," Eberling said.

Instead, Marino moved the teens to a bedroom and failed to call for help, authorities said.

Marino's father found the teens unresponsive shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday and called 911.

The teens were dead when paramedics arrived, authorities said. A ruling on the cause of death is pending toxicology results, which could take six weeks.

Marino faces two counts of criminally negligent homicide, Eberling said.

He was in the Grapevine Jail on Sunday with bail set at $10,000.

A man who answered the door at Marino's home Sunday declined to comment.

Investigators said they believe that Marino bought the drugs Friday evening and took them to the house, where he met Nunez and McNutt.

"We're also trying to find out more information on where he bought the drugs and from whom," Eberling said.

The two victims and Marino apparently had drug "cocktails," a mixture of drugs, throughout the evening, Eberling said.

Police did not release information on the whereabouts of Marino's father during the night.

Initially, Marino was taken into custody on an outstanding drunken-driving warrant from Fort Worth.

Investigators also found drug paraphernalia, including glass pipes, in his home, police said.

After speaking to Marino, investigators determined that he had failed to seek help for the teenagers. He was then charged with criminally negligent homicide.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each charge.

Tarrant County court records show Marino has a criminal history in Tarrant County.

He has been charged with possession of marijuana, twice in Grapevine and once in Bedford, since November 2008, records say. In March, he was arrested for DWI in Grapevine with a blood alcohol level of 0.15, according to court records.

In the three drug cases, Marino served 21 days in jail, records say. In April, Marino was sentenced to two years of probation on the DWI charge.

Marino is a 2008 graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School and attended Texas Tech University before he dropped out of college in 2009, according to his Facebook page.

On Thursday, he wrote on his Facebook page that he was trying to change.

"Still in that s--- storm, and will be for awhile now, but besides that just been trying to stay sober (except for bud of course) and trying to get back to school. Had to refind myself, kinda lost sight of my goals for awhile but feeling better errday!"

In August 2010, Nunez wrote about sobriety on this Facebook page.

"Never thought life would be so fun without drugs," Nunez wrote then. "48 days sober."

McNutt and Nunez were seniors at Carroll Senior High School, police said. Carroll school district officials were notified of the case late Saturday.

"We were deeply saddened to learn this news," Carroll spokeswoman Julie Thannum said Sunday. "The district is mobilizing our school counseling team and will have trained professionals available at CSHS to assist staff today and students on Tuesday when they return for classes."

Thannum said counselors will be available at the school all week.

Laura Hill, the co-founder of Students and Parents Against Risks to our Kids said the weekend tragedy was a wake-up call for several Southlake parents who are worried about their children. Hill said she heard from eight parents Sunday as news of the teenagers' death spread.

SPARK was formed in 2008 by Hill and other Southlake residents to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse and other dangers to teenagers and children. The group partners with the Carroll school district, Southlake police and other groups to host informational town hall meetings for parents.

Hundreds of parents attended town hall meetings hosted by SPARK in September, October and November at which Carroll school officials, Southlake police officers and others had frank discussions about drug and alcohol abuse.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.,

817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

700 block of Heather Wood Drive, Grapevine, TX
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