By Extra Online
On an icy January night in 1999 night she begged her mom to let her stay out an hour later than her midnight curfew. Sammy, Melanie, and Jessica, planned to hang out with Dan, and Nick-- two seniors from their high school. The five drove around making stops to buy Slurpees, cigarettes, food and some marijuana.
They then went to an apartment, allegedly rented by Erick, 26, an older acquaintance of one of the men.
What happened next depends on which of the men you believe. At least one of the guys thought it might be fun to slip something into the girl's drinks. At the trial, one man said he thought he'd dumped about a teaspoon of GHB into each drink-but he was pretty sure one drink had a lot more than the others. The men say they had no plans to seduce the girls.
It didn't take long for Sammy and Melanie to start feeling strange.
Melanie said she felt strange after drinking what she thought was vodka and orange juice.
"My face got all numb," she said. "I went and sat on the floor. That's all I can remember."
Both Sammy and Melanie passed out.
"I wondered why they were getting sick," Jessica testified, at the trial of the four men accused of poisoning Sammy and Melanie.
The men thought the girls had passed out because they had too much alcohol to drink and kept checking on them throughout the night. They moved the girls into the bathroom so they wouldn't throw up on the couch anymore-- the girls were gagging even though they were passed out.
Jessica thought her friends would just "sleep it off" but she became concerned when Sammy's breathing became labored.
"She started to make weird breathing noises," Jessica told the jurors.
According to Jessica, Josh suggested calling an ambulance. But the older guy-- Erick-- told him not to call.
"He didn't want the cops to come to his house and find out we were drinking at his house," she said.
Jessica testified that Erick repeatedly said, "You were never here. You were never here."
Eventually, Dan and Josh loaded the unconscious girls into a van and Nick drove to a hospital.
As the van raced along the road just before dawn, Jessica cradled her friend Sammy.
To her horror, she realized Sammy wasn't breathing.
"I tried to open her mouth to see why," she said.
"Her teeth were clamped shut. I tried to see what was in her throat. I put my finger down there and a bunch of stuff came up."
The doctor at the hospital emergency room could find no vital signs or other signs of life.
If Sammy had been brought in earlier or given CPR sooner, the doctor testified, "it would have saved this girl's life."
A LOST LIFE
Samantha got average grades, was on the basketball team.
Her mother said she liked the drive-through at McDonald's, that she looked forward to driving and getting a job.
She was buried with a Girl Scout sash, her Bible, a picture of her dog Scrappy, her favorite teddy bear and a Tickle-me Cookie Monster.
She wrote poems about the ocean.
She wrote in her poetry journal: "For I 'shall not go quietly into the night'. I shall succeed, and no battle will be won until I've had my fight."