Alliance police have dedicated almost a month looking for the driver who fled the scene after striking an 11-year-old boy in front of an East State Street McDonald’s. On Friday, they arrested the boy’s aunt and her live-in boyfriend on felony drug and child-endangering charges after a methamphetamine lab was discovered in the couple’s basement.
Police charged Loyal C. Williams, 36, of 740 Garrison Ave., with illegal manufacture of drugs, a first-degree felony; and illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony; and child endangering, a third-degree felony, shortly after 7:45 p.m. after discovering the components involved with the manufacture of methamphetamine in the home.
Shortly before, detectives had completed an investigation into reports of possible methamphetamine manufacturing going on in the home and discovered chemicals, including iodine, muriatic acid, sulfuric acid, pseudoephedrine, hydrogen peroxide and red phosphorus, in the basement of the home that housed four children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years.
Those chemicals were allegedly used to manufacture methamphetamine behind a false wall, where the active lab was located.
The Alliance Fire Department was called to assist with ventilation, and the Stark Metro Narcotics Unit to assist with disposal of all the hazardous materials.
Williams’ live-in girlfriend and the hit-and-run victim’s aunt, Cynthia A. Morris, 33, also was charged with child endangering. She sits in Stark County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond, while Williams’ bond is set at $100,000. Both are scheduled to be arraigned today in Alliance Municipal Court via video technology.
The four children were released to relatives, and Child Protective Services was notified.
Since Morris’ nephew J.J. was the victim of a hit-and-run earlier this month, the case has gained significant media coverage, as police sought clues on the driver’s identity. Morris created a GoFundMe page, which has raised $1,885 toward Jonathon’s medical expenses, explaining in the page’s text that “we have four children and … already struggle.”
Some TV reporters stood in the same family room, interviewing Morris and the 11-year-old boy, apparently above the secret room where Williams allegedly cooked methamphetamine. The public outcry has some donors inquiring about refund of their donations.
The Review contacted GoFundMe over the weekend for additional information.
The Garrison Street property is owned by Christian Barth, according to Stark County online records.
This is the latest arrest for Williams, who also goes by the nickname Jay and was sentenced almost five years ago on identical charges to three years in prison. He currently is on post-release control, according to the Mahoning County online case docket in conjunction with that case.
No arrest has been made yet in regard to the hit-and-run, which remains under investigation. Anyone who has information regarding the accident is asked to call 330-821-9140.