The Montgomery Herald, Montgomery, W.Va.

Local News

August 13, 2013

Pair arrested, charged with child neglect in Montgomery

MONTGOMERY — A man and woman suspected of causing an explosion at a housing complex in Montgomery while operating a meth lab were arrested and charged with child neglect, Montgomery officials reported.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Tabitha Lynn Underwood, 34, of Rivermont Family Housing apartments, 800 4th Ave., was “conducting a meth lab in her residence while her children were present.”

Derrick Vincent Easterday, 31, of Glasgow, was also “conducting the meth lab,” Montgomery Police Patrolman D.J. Batten charged in the statement.

The lab exploded in the bedroom, causing a fire that was reported to Fayette Emergency Operations Center around 12:08 a.m. Thursday, officials stated.

When officers searched Underwood’s apartment for injured people following the fire, they discovered syringes on the apartment floor.

Some were filled with what police suspected was heroin, and others were used, Batten stated.

Underwood and Easterday were charged with one felony count each of child neglect creating risk of injury.

The ages and number of children in the home are not listed on the complaint.

On the court document, Easterday is listed as “living with the victim or having lived with the victim.”

Easterday was treated at Montgomery General Hospital for minor burns following the fire, said officials.

Both are at South Central Regional Jail, and more charges may be filed, police said.

Rivermont Family Housing is operated by National Church Residences and is described as a “specialized living community.”

Officers said that tenants in five adjoining apartments were relocated and are awaiting test results of the cause of fire to return to their homes.

Montgomery Fire Department and Jan-Care ambulance crews had responded to the fire.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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