Man accused of accidentally causing explosion while making drugs pleads no contest, faces 11 years in prison
A man who was accused of inadvertently causing an explosion that badly damaged several Grass Valley apartment buildings has pleaded no contest to multiple felony charges and could spend more than 10 years in prison, prosecutors say.
Kyle Patche, 31, pleaded last week to one count of child endangerment and one count of illegal manufacturing of controlled substances, with a special allegation of causing great bodily injury. In exchange for Patche’s pleas, prosecutors have agreed to drop two other felony charges in the case, according to Nevada County District Attorney Jesse Wilson.
Patche is set to be sentenced on Nov. 5, and faces up to 11 years in prison, Wilson said. The District Attorney’s Office will push for a relatively more severe prison term in this case largely due to the significant injuries Patche’s actions caused to a 12-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy who were both wounded by the explosion, Wilson added.
“It’s extremely serious conduct anytime there’s these allegations that involve a vulnerable victim like a child,” the district attorney said. “The defendant showed extreme disregard for the child’s safety, a child ended up with serious injuries…so we’re going to be asking for significant time in prison in this case, based on the severity of the conduct and the danger it poses to the community.“
The Nevada County Public Defender’s Office, Patche’s defense counsel in the case, could not be reached for comment.
In March, Patche was accused of causing an explosion at an apartment on the 300 block of Sutton Way that damaged multiple residences.
According to the Grass Valley Police Department, Patche was operating a butane honey oil lab at his residence and was also trying to produce concentrated cannabis at the time of the incident. Authorities later determined that the explosion occurred when Patche lit a cigarette, and in doing so inadvertently ignited some of the butane gas in his room. Butane is considered an extremely flammable substance.
Patche himself sustained significant injuries from the explosion and was briefly hospitalized, while the two children present at the residence suffered lesser injuries and were not hospitalized, police said. Authorities have declined to comment on how the children were connected or related to the suspect.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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