The 20-year-old at the heart of a major investigation in April at the Treesdale home of model Theresa Gaugler was sentenced to probation without verdict Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Joseph K. Williams III sentenced Tyler McWilliams, of Gibsonia, to a year's probation on two misdemeanor counts of possessing marijuana and methylphenidate, as well as a summary count of underage drinking.
Two felony drug-related charges against McWilliams—one for selling marijuana and the other for possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver—were withdrawn.
The commonwealth also withdrew a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Probation without verdict means the criminal case will be dismissed and the record expunged if McWilliams meets all the conditions of his probation.
This option is sometimes used for first-time offenders so a criminal record does not ruin future opportunities, such as an background check conducted as part of a job interview or gun-permit application
What Happened on April 28?
Northern Regional police were called to the Gaugler home about 1 a.m. April 28 after receiving complaints about a party and cars speeding in the neighborhood.
Soon after arriving, police said they found McWilliams unresponsive in a basement bedroom near the party area. Medics transported him to a hospital.
Sgt. Bert Lott of Northern Regional testified at Williams' preliminary hearing that a blood test showed McWilliams' blood alcohol content was .366 percent.
McWilliams, a friend of the Gauglers, had been staying at their home when he held the party to celebrate his April 27 birthday.
As police checked the house to see if any other party-goers needed medical attention, they found a cubby in a closet off the bedroom containing a lab set-up. Some containers had a skull-and-crossbones on them, as well as notations indicating the contests were hazardous, Lott testified.
The investigation into what police originally throught was an underage drinking party morphed into an investigation in which law-enforcement officials spent the day investigating the Treesdale home on Condor Lane for the possibility that a clandestine lab was manufacturing drugs or explosives.
Law-enforcement officials said they initially suspected chemicals in the house could be used for making bombs—at a time when the University of Pittsburgh was regularly receiving bomb threats. Investigators filed no charges related to those substances, however, after identifying them as household chemicals.
Potenially hallucinogenic mushrooms were sent to the state police crime lab, but police said the test results were inconclusive.
The FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the home, as did the Allegheny County Bomb Squad and a county Hazmat team.
Wexford Volunteer Fire Company and McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority were on standby on Condor Lane from about 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Theresa Gaugler Talks About Chemicals
In a July interview on 105.9 The X with Tim Benz, Gaugler talked about the April incident. She was at the station to promote Pink Party With A Purpose, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
Gaugler described McWilliams as a daughter's friend who was allowed to live free in her home. Gaugler, who is divorced, has four daughters and one son.
When asked about bomb-making materials, Gaugler explained that her son is "very much into chemistry."
"So he had some chemicals around the house that could be used, if they were all put together in a certain way, which they weren’t."
James Anthony Gaugler was listed on the University of Pittsburgh website as an undergraduate student in the chemistry department.
None of the Gauglers was charged in the incident.