The couple arrested for allegedly exposing two children to the manufacture of methamphetamine Tuesday after state police discovered a mobile meth lab in a van near Bob's Hotdogs in Norton have also been charged with child neglect causing injury.
Tonya Warner, 29, and Gary Loy, 29, both of Belington, have each been charged with two counts of child neglect causing injury, a felony, after officers with the Elkins detachment of the West Virginia State Police determined that a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old were sitting inside the van while methamphetamine was cooking - and were therefore exposed to toxic fumes, according to criminal complaints in the Randolph County Magistrate Clerk's Office.
Loy is also charged with operation of a clandestine laboratory, unlawful assault on an official and two counts of exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, all felonies. Warner is charged with being an accessory before/after the fact of operation of a clandestine laboratory, fleeing in a vehicle, unlawful assault on an official and two counts of exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, all felonies.
Loy and Warner - the parents of the children - were taken to Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where they remained Thursday on $157,000 bond and $100,000 bond, respectively. Their children are in the care of Child Protective Services, according to Trooper First Class K.A. Corley, one of the state police officers who responded to the scene Tuesday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint in the magistrate clerk's officer, Tuesday's incident began when Trooper First Class G.S. Deweese responded at 1:58 p.m. to a be-on-the-lookout call that Loy - who had three active felony warrants in Barbour and one active felony warrant from Randolph County - and Warner were in a white van near Bob's Hotdogs in Norton. When Deweese arrived on scene, he saw Warner standing at the order window and tried to talk to her but she "became irate" and tried to run away, according to the report.
Deweese caught her and sat her on a bench in front of Bob's Hotdogs. Warner asked a male subject later identified as Christopher Dodrill to take two children who were in the van to her mother's house, and Dodrill complied. Warner then told Deweese that Loy wasn't with her; however, the officer smelled "a strong odor of ammonia coming from the van" and subsequently opened the back doors to search for Loy.
Loy "rose up in an aggressive manner with one hand reached out," Deweese wrote.
The officer tried to pull Loy from the van and restrain him, but he resisted, at which point Warner reportedly climbed in the driver's seat.
As Deweese attempted to pull Loy from the van, Warner put the van into reverse and began to back up -- and both Loy and Deweese fell from the van.
"Mr. Loy jumped up and started swinging at the undersigned officer with a closed fist," Deweese wrote in the complaint. Deweese was able to force Loy onto the ground, but while he was trying to restrain him, the officer saw Warner "trying to back up the van almost striking [him]," he reported. Trooper M.J. Wilson arrived on scene and he and Deweese were able to successfully restrain Loy.
Warner ran away but Wilson later found her hiding in an outbuilding with her two children. As previously reported, Deweese searched the van and found a mobile "shake-and-bake" meth lab, the authenticity of which was later verified via tests.
Dodrill was detained, but not arrested, according to Corley.
"He was just detained until we could find out more information about the situation and that was it," the officer said Thursday. "He was just detained for the purpose of further questioning and due to the fact that we had an active meth lab."
Katie Kuba can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.