Meth lab suspects’ children removed

Posted: 4th April 2011 by Doc in Uncategorized
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A mother and father who have faced multiple child endangerment charges since last year were given another continuance until methamphetamine charges are settled in Circuit Court.
Meanwhile, custody of their children has already been taken away due to reported “severe abuse.”

Since last March, Sandra Jean Mortimer and David Gordon Mortimer, both 34, of Central Avenue, have faced multiple counts of child endangerment for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab in their home.

According to Det. Capt. Becky Hord of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, the couple lost custody of their children after a ruling last month by Judge Charles Rich, who determined there had been “severe abuse.”

The couple were indicted by the Bedford County grand jury in February for promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, and court officials say that the endangerment charges will be addressed after the meth counts are dealt with in Circuit Court.

Their next date in General Session court is May 18.

The pair have each been charged with 50 counts of child endangerment in addition to the methamphetamine charges. Attorney Trisha Bohlen represents Sandra while Forest Durard is David’s lawyer and each is free on $25,000 bond.

Last March, authorities discovered six children living in the home where the drug was allegedly being made. The 50 endangerment counts represent the number of times that the Mortimers claimed they made meth with the children present.

Arrests were made after members of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force contacted Hord about the children’s situation. Hord stated at the time that twins under a year old and four other children ranging from ages 2 to 6 were in the home.

David claimed to have been cooking meth in the house “before they moved in,” Hord said, and added that the kids had been in the home “every time that they cooked” the drug.

The detective said that David allegedly told investigators that the kids were sleeping in their bedroom when the meth was allegedly being cooked.

Hord added that there had also been a Department of Children’s Services referral in connection with the allegations about a meth lab being present, but claims all that was done in that case was a warning about cleaning up the home.

She stated that members of the drug task force indicated there were 15 “cooks” or more on the property and the multiple endangerment counts against the couple were related to the number of children present and the alleged instances of making the drug in the home.

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