Co-defendant in honey oil lab explosion takes plea agreement
One of two men arrested after a butane honey oil lab explosion pleaded no contest in court Thursday to one count of manufacturing butane honey oil.
Richard Ray Kuhn, 34, was also facing charges of recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure, manufacturing butane honey oil and felony child abuse after a woman and child were injured — and a dog was killed — in the explosion and fire in early May.
Firefighters contained the blaze in the residence on Poke Place, off Banner Mountain from spreading into the wildland area and also from reaching any neighboring homes; at least 90 percent of the two-story home was destroyed.
Kuhn’s plea agreement is in return for a three-year prison sentence, to be served locally. He will return to court for sentencing Oct. 30.
Kuhn’s co-defendant, David Brooks Schwab, 26, pleaded guilty to recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure, manufacturing butane honey oil and felony child abuse in August.
Before his arrest, Schwab stated on camera in an interview with CBS-TV in Sacramento that he and his fiancée and child were in the kitchen at the time of the explosion when the refrigerator door blew off; he said it took him by surprise.
At his sentencing, Judge Candace Heidelberger sentenced him to an aggregate term of seven years and four months in state prison, but suspended the sentence so that Schwab could be admitted to adult drug court.
He also was sentenced to serve 260 days in custody in county jail, with 230 days credit. The remaining 30 days in custody were suspended so that he could be placed immediately into a residential treatment program, possibly for six months, and then outpatient treatment. Schwab was also placed on five years formal probation and must complete a 52-week child abuse prevention program.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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